Executive Intelligence Review


Retired Air Force General Demands End of U.S. Support to Saudi-Led War in Yemen

Feb. 28, 2019 (EIRNS)—A retired Air Force general is demanding for the U.S. to end its support of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward (ret.), who commanded the 17th Air Force in Ramstein, Germany over 2010-12—and as such was in direct command of the air operations during the Libya campaign in 2011—argues in an op-ed published in Defense One media site that “the United States should disengage from Riyadh’s strategically counterproductive and morally pernicious war. The human and geopolitical stakes demand as much.” She continues that the war in Yemen can only be ended if all sides agree to pursue a political solution in good faith. “That’s not likely to happen if the United States maintains unconditional support for Saudi Arabia,” she writes.

Woodward refers to the House vote invoking the War Powers Resolution earlier this month to end U.S. military support of the Saudis as

“important not only because it rebuked a policy of unconditional support for this calamity, but also because Congressional pressure seems to be playing a clear role in bolstering UN-led peace talks between Yemen’s warring parties.”

She urges for Congress to keep the pressure up.

“Prospects for peace in Yemen are higher than they’ve been in years. Congress should curtail the Pentagon’s participation in this war, prohibiting in-flight refueling and halting the transfer and licensing of offensive weapons for use by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, at least until effective conditions are met,”

she writes. “Americans should support these restrictions, because ending the war in Yemen is the most effective way to curtail threats from al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, which have benefitted from Yemen’s instability.”

The picture coming out of the port of Hodeidah, meanwhile, is quite pessimistic, at least as reported by Agence France-Presse yesterday. “War-weary residents of the flashpoint Yemeni port city of Hodeidah have little hope of peace even as the UN regains control of vital food aid warehouses on the front lines,” the AFP report begins. On Feb. 26, a team from the World Food Program did arrive at the Red Sea Mills to assess the condition of the facility and the wheat stored there. “We need sustained access to the mills in order to fumigate the wheat and then start milling it,” said WFP spokesman Herve Verhoosel. “To do that we need safe passage to the mills for WFP staff and the mill workers. It will take weeks of sustained access to the mills to get the facility back to normal operations,” he said.