Daniel Larison of The American Conservative, who is one of my favorite writers on foreign policy, nails the failed War on Yemen while reviewing Chris Christie’s jumbled mess of a speech:
The devastation of Yemen is what can happen when the U.S. foolishly sides with its clients in a conflict in which it shouldn’t be involved. If Christie had his way, the U.S. would be doing a lot more of this. Christie goes on to say that “[w]e need to do more to organize our allies into a strong coalition on the ground in Yemen,” because inflicting more death and destruction on that country is somehow necessary and desirable. Nothing says “leadership” like sending poor conscripts to invade an impoverished, wrecked country that poses no threat to anyone.
Click here to read the whole thing.
I give no quarter to President Obama’s administration in this mess. They unswervingly supported Saudi Arabia’s military adventurism in Yemen at the outset and it has turned into a huge disaster.
A couple weeks ago, I listened to a BBC documentary, which talked about House of Saud dictatorship’s new-found muscular foreign policy. As the region has become more chaotic and unstable, Saudi Arabia has become more assertive in its foreign policy. And yet:
The Houthis aren’t acting as proxies for Iran, and their conflict with Hadi’s government is based in local grievances and political rivalries. Whatever has happened in Yemen, Iran didn’t “launch” it and has almost nothing to do with it. The thing that has done the most to “devastate” the country (which also isn’t an ally) is the Saudi-led war that the U.S. supports. Yemen is a perfect example of how the U.S. errs so badly when it feels compelled to back up its clients against supposed regional threats.
The Saudi dictatorship can’t even wage war on a failed state properly, nor can they reasonably justify their actions to those not beholden to their oil wealth (read: the US gummint).