The United States continues to support the Saudi-led war in Yemen, and the result could be the crippling of the country’s economy and people for generations.
Bombing of the country, started in 2015, “has deliberately sought to inflict widespread damage to Yemen’s production capacity,” according to a report from Human Rights Watch.
The war has been brutal in the present, but has long-term ramifications that will prevent Yemen from functioning on a basic level for years.
“Long after the fighting stops in Yemen, the people of Yemen will be left with wrecked infrastructure and a devastated economy because of the bombing campaign that HRW and other human rights organizations have been criticizing for over a year. Yemen was already the poorest Arab country, and now its development has been set back by decades,” Daniel Larison wrote for The American Conservative.
Though the United States has provided strategic support to a coalition of Gulf and Arab states led by Saudi Arabia for a campaign that has resulted in the deaths of thousands, the American people know little about it, and aren’t much concerned. The failure in foreign policy is matched only by national apathy.
The HRW report focused on “17 apparently unlawful airstrikes on 13 civilian economic sites” in recent months.
“Taken together, the attacks on factories and other civilian economic structures raise serious concerns that the Saudi-led coalition has deliberately sought to inflict widespread damage to Yemen’s production capacity,” HRW said.
Conditions have worsened in Yemen to the point of “near famine,” Larison wrote. Blockades and bombings have severely damaged the economy and resiliency of the country.
“With more than 20 million people in desperate need of humanitarian aid, the strikes on factories are contributing to the shortages of food, medicine, and other critical needs of Yemen’s civilians,” HRW noted.
Yemen has a population of 27 million people.
Saudi Arabia has denied criticism, stating that armed forces “have fully complied with international humanitarian law and international human rights law in their military operations.”
The United States has assisted the coalition with logistical support, intelligence, and military advising, along with $60 billion in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia since 2010.
Though the United States government supports the war in Yemen, it’s been reluctant to investigate how the war has been conducted, and alleged human rights violations.