Pentagon to Congress: You Can’t Stop Us from Fueling Saudi Arabia’s War in Yemen
On February 28, Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 54, a resolution that seeks to end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. Even before the resolution was introduced, the Department of Defense responded with the extraordinary claim that Congress lacked the legal authority to “override the President’s determination as Commander in Chief” and end the United States’ involvement in the conflict.
It is bad enough the extent to which the Defense Department has treated Congressional silence as a blank check to wage war wherever and whenever it wants. The Pentagon’s claim that Congress lacks the power to limit U.S. involvement in the Yemeni civil war is an even more serious encroachment on Congress’s constitutional authority over the military.
In March of 2015, a coalition of nine Arab governments, led by Saudi Arabia, began a bombing campaign in Yemen. The Saudi airstrikes were aimed at restoring to power the internationally recognized government of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who had been deposed by an armed rebel group known as the Houthis.