A recent US House of Representatives’ resolution condemning US military assistance to Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen has been a major shock to US armed forces and is a departure from an epoch of the House tamely going along with US administrations, says a former US diplomat.
The “sweeping very successful bi-partisan resolution” apparently had been building under the table for some time, said Michael Springmann, former US diplomat in Saudi Arabia, in an interview with Press TV.
Springmann said the Monday resolution was not the only piece of legislation in the works to curb US military activity under the pretext of fighting terrorism, but that other US lawmakers such as Eliot Engel, ranking minority member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, want to end a 2001 authorization that allows US presidents to deploy armed forces against those responsible for the September 11 attacks and any associated forces.
“He [Eliot Engel] wants to end the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force because it's been used so sweepingly not only to fight terrorism and to fight al-Qaeda --whatever that might be – but it’s been used to fight the Houthis in Yemen and he says that is not the intention of what the law was and Congress needs to gain control of the US military and improve its oversight.”
The former diplomat in the Middle East said the resolution by the House, which to this time has been tamely going along with US administrations in their support for the Saudi regime, is an indicator of a changing Congress at odds with the long-held policy of “blind support” for Saudi Arabia.
In a rare exercise of its war-making role, the House of Representatives on Monday overwhelmingly passed a resolution explicitly stating that US military assistance to Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen is not authorized under legislation passed by Congress to fight terrorism or invade Iraq.
The House adopted the nonbinding resolution by 366-30 vote on Monday. In a rare exercise, the House publicly acknowledged the Pentagon has been sharing targeting information and refueling warplanes that Saudi Arabia and its allies are using in their war of aggression against the impoverished nation.
The resolution states that US military operations are partly authorized to fight only al-Qaeda and other allied terrorist groups in Yemen, but not Houthi fighters.
"To date," the resolution says, "Congress has not enacted specific legislation authorizing the use of military force against parties participating in the Yemeni civil war that are not otherwise subject to" the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force or the 2003 AUMF in Iraq.