Obama Complicit in Genocide in Yemen Through Billions in Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

January 4, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, Obama, in a move made for no more than show, restricted the sale of guidance kits for air-dropped munitions to Saudi Arabia. This is blasted as meaningless in an article in The National Interest by Trevor Thrall, a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute who is also an associate professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. Despite the carnage that the Saudi campaign as wrought in Yemen — thousands of civilian deaths and bringing the country to the edge of famine — "the United States has continued to provide arms, refuel coalition planes, share intelligence, and assist with targeting for the Saudis."

Obama's "pullback," Thrall writes, is not nearly enough to absolve the United States of its involvement in Yemen, which otherwise continues to pour gasoline on a raging fire. The Foreign Military Sales program, through which U.S. arms sales are approved, states that its mission is to "strengthen the security of the U.S. and promote world peace," but "it's hard to see how enabling the destruction of Yemen accomplishes either of those goals," writes Thrall.

All the rest of the $112 billion in arms sales to the Saudis that Obama has approved over his presidency, like the arms sales to Saudi Arabia's coalition partners in that war, as well as all the other support that the United States is providing to the Saudis in their genocidal war in Yemen, continue unabated. Thrall calls for a complete cutoff of U.S. arms sales to the Saudis and their partners.

"This approach wouldn't end the war in Yemen, or magically bring peace and stability to the region," he concludes. "But it would ensure that the United States isn't underwriting illegal and counterproductive conflicts. And that is a good place to start."