On Wednesday, Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, introduced a resolution invoking the War Powers Act to end American involvement in the war in Yemen.
Since the 2015 intervention by Saudi Arabia into the conflict, more than 10,000 Yemenis have lost their lives. A cholera outbreak and famine exacerbated by the military conflict have only made matters worse. Indiscriminate Saudi bombings have killed countless civilians - including one incident in 2016 in which 140 civilians were killed at a funeral hall - and destroyed schools and hospitals.
From the beginning, the United States has supported the Saudi campaign with refueling and intelligence gathering assistance. As with many of our military involvements around the world, none of our military intervention in support of the Saudi's has been authorized by Congress.
Sanders, Murphy and Lee want to change that.
"We believe that, as Congress has not declared war or authorized military force in this conflict, the United States involvement in Yemen is unconstitutional and unauthorized, and US military support of the Saudi coalition must end," Sanders said in a statement. "That is why today we are introducing a joint resolution pursuant to the 1973 War Powers Resolution calling for an end to US support for the Saudi war in Yemen."
The move follows a resolution passed last year in the House which, among other things, acknowledged that American involvement in Yemen has not been specifically authorized by Congress.
At the very least, the issue should be put to a vote. That's what the Congress is supposed to do.
The Congress cannot continue to allow the United States to be involved in conflicts without explicit congressional authorization. The work of senators like Sanders, Murphy, Lee and the members of the House like Rep. Ro Khanna, D-California, who have headed up similar efforts is critical to ending these entanglements.
For nearly two decades, the United States has been in perpetual war on the other side of the planet, at a cost of trillions of American tax dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives. Ending our involvement in Yemen, and pressuring the Saudis to pursue peace, should be just a starting point for pulling back our military commitments.
Source: OCR, Edited by website team