STATEMENT: Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis Is Unacceptable, Says CAP’s Kelly Magsamen

Washington, D.C. — In response to the growing humanitarian crisis in Yemen, Kelly Magsamen, vice president for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

The humanitarian situation in Yemen is unacceptable. Now is the time for American leadership to bring this conflict to an end. A public and congressional debate on the nature of America’s military involvement in this conflict, and the diplomacy needed to resolve it, is necessary and long overdue.

The United States maintains a strong national security interest in fighting Al Qaeda and associated forces in Yemen, and U.S. armed forces should continue to have the necessary authorities to protect American citizens. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that U.S. national security interests are not being served by continued U.S. operational support to the Saudi-led war against the Houthi forces. While Saudi Arabia has legitimate security concerns about illegal Iranian lethal support to the Houthis, the conduct of that war has produced grave humanitarian consequences for the Yemeni people with no end in sight.

There should be no blank checks for our regional partners. The Trump administration has so far failed to exercise its leverage with Saudi Arabia and has also failed to put forward a real strategy to push back effectively on Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region. Instead of enabling the conflict, the U.S. should be prioritizing diplomacy to bring this disastrous conflict to an end—an outcome that would be in the interests of the United States, our regional partners, and the Yemeni people.

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