The interests cited to justify our participation in this obscure and distant struggle are difficult to discern. By classifying the conflict as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, you might be able to talk yourself into believing that U.S. involvement in Yemen forms part of a larger strategy to avert Iranian regional hegemony. But that argument rests on two problematic assumptions. First, that the United States has a dog in this fight; and second, that of the mutts involved, Saudi Arabia is the one deserving our support. Neither assumption can withstand scrutiny.
More to the point, no less an authority than President Donald Trump himself has admitted that the U.S. is standing with Saudi Arabia in Yemen because bountiful Saudi purchases of American-made weapons keep the military-industrial complex afloat. U.S. involvement in Yemen is not a realization of strategy. It’s about customer relations—keeping Saudi Arabia happy lest it take its business elsewhere. “I don’t like the concept of stopping an investment of $110 billion into the United States,” Trump told reporters late last year. “You know what they are going to do? They’re going to take that money and spend it in Russia or China or someplace else.”
So spare me, please, presidential claims that congressional action to end U.S. involvement in this war will endanger “the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future.” That is pure tripe.