The Biden administration has announced that it is reducing support for military operations by the House of Saud in Yemen.
The details are not in yet, but it appears that the scope of this reduction in support is limited.
It would be nice if US administrations didn’t spend their time coddling the incompetent boy prince of the the Riyadh regime:
Joe Biden has announced an end to US support for Saudi-led offensive operations in Yemen, as part of a broad reshaping of American foreign policy.
In his first foreign policy speech as president, Biden signaled that the US would no longer be an unquestioning ally to the Gulf monarchies, announced a more than eightfold increase in the number of refugees the country would accept, and declared that the days of a US president “rolling over” for Vladimir Putin were over.
“America is back,” Biden declared in remarks delivered at the state department, capping a whiplash fortnight of dramatic foreign policy changes since his 20 January inauguration. “Diplomacy is back at the center of our foreign policy.”
Biden said the conflict in Yemen, which has killed more than 100,000 Yemenis and displaced 8 million, had “created a humanitarian and strategic catastrophe”.
“This war has to end,” Biden. “And to underscore our commitment, we’re ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arm sales.”
However, he said the US would continue to provide defensive support to Saudi Arabia against missile and drone attacks from Iranian-backed forces. US forces will also continue operations against al-Qaida in the Arabian peninsula.
There is a whole lot of wiggle room for a whole lot of mischief by the petty Persian Gulf potentiates to continuing to prosecute their war against the people of Yemen.
The distancing of Washington from Riyadh is one of the most conspicuous reversals of Donald Trump’s agenda, but it also marks a break with the policies pursued by Barack Obama, who had backed the Saudi offensive in Yemen, although he later sought to impose constraints on its air war.
A bipartisan majority in Congress had previously voted to cut off support to the Saudi campaign, citing the civilian death toll and the murder of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. But Trump used his veto to block the move.
The US will also freeze arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and name a special envoy to Yemen, to put more pressure on the Saudis and Emiratis and the Houthi forces they are fighting, to make a lasting peace agreement.
We’ll see how long that lasts.
With Saudi money flooding the lobbying channels inside the Beltway, I expect pushback from the very serious people, and a walk-back from the White House.