Last updated on March 17th, 2019
The Senate has voted to end the US support for the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen. The move implies that Congress is now a step closer to an unrivaled rebuke of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy.
The debate to bar the supply of the weapons to the Kingdom first came out when it was reported that the nation was illicitly using them in killing of civilians. The Yemen war, as it stands on the verge of entering its fifth year, has already seen more than 10,000 tragic deaths, along with the displacement of millions. This is for the first time that lawmakers have invoked the decades-old War Powers Resolution, to stop a foreign conflict.
The vote, however, puts Congress on a stiff course with Trump, who has already threatened to veto the resolution. The President’s diplomatic approach towards Saudi, despite numerous claims of them reigning inhuman catastrophe has remained the same. As a fact, he has claimed time and again that the Gulf nation is his ‘very good ally’.
The Senate resolution to stop the supply of weapons was co-sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders and the Utah Republican Mike Lee. The resolution will next move to the Democratic-controlled House, where there is an air of expectation that it will pass easily.
“The bottom line is that the United States should not be supporting a catastrophic war led by a despotic regime with an irresponsible foreign policy,” Sanders said on Wednesday from the Senate floor. Adding that a vote in favor of the measure would “begin the process of reclaiming our constitutional authority by ending United States involvement in a war that has not been authorized by Congress and is unconstitutional”.
Besides, even the White House argued the basis on which, Trump alleged that he would veto the resolution. Further stating that such a move would hamper the US’ endeavor of standing against extremism.
“By defining ‘hostilities’ to include defense cooperation such as aerial refueling,” the statement said, the Yemen resolution could also “establish bad precedent for future legislation”.
Contrarily, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell argued that using a specific policy decision as some proxy for all the Senate would not help the cause. Instead, the human rights issue must be directly addressed with administration and Saudi officials.
He also revoked that the Yemen resolution “will not enhance America’s diplomatic leverage,” making it tougher for the US to end the conflict in Yemen.
Senator Chris Murphy said before the vote that the resolution “will be seen as a message to the Saudis that they need to clean up their act.” “We are made weaker in the eyes of the world when we willingly participate in war crimes, when we allow our partners to engage in the slaughter of innocents,” he added condemning the US’ involvement.
Continuous efforts to avert the danger of civilian killing, and reach a solution in Yemen have been initiated in the past, yet none has been successfully implemented. Unfortunately, credited as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis by the United Nations, it still remains to be seen if Yemeni’s can breathe a sigh of relief even this time or not.