Unwavering U.S. support for Saudi Arabia comes at a terrible price for Yemen.
- By Sharon WeinbergerSharon Weinberger is the executive editor for news at Foreign Policy. Previously, she was the national security editor at The Intercept, where she directed the publication's defense and intelligence coverage. Her most recent book, published in March 2017, is The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World (Knopf, 2017). She was a Radcliffe Institute Fellow at Harvard in 2015-2016, a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT in 2008-2009, and she is currently a non-resident global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She has also been an International Reporting Project Fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, an Alicia Patterson Fellow, a Carnegie Fellow at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, a Nation Institute Investigative Fellow, and a Carnegie Newhouse Legal Reporting Fellow. She received her B.A. from Johns Hopkins University, and holds an M.A. from the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and an M.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Nature, Discover, BBC.com, Slate, Wired, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and the Financial Times, among other publications. She was previously a senior editor at Aviation Week and a co-founding writer and editor for Wired's national security blog, Danger Room.
For over eight months, four cranes funded by U.S. taxpayers and destined for Yemen have been stuck in limbo. Delivery of the humanitarian equipment, which is needed to unload containers at a Yemeni port, has been blocked by Saudi Arabia.
Yet even as Saudi Arabia is preventing delivery of the humanitarian assistance, the kingdom enjoys continuing U.S. support for its war in Yemen. The Saudi-led coalition began airstrikes in March 2015 in the hopes of pushing out Houthi rebels who had seized power and returning President Abdrabbuh Mansoudi to power. Yet two and half years later, the war in Yemen has achieved almost nothing politically and resulted in a devastating humanitarian crisis as reported by FP’s Dan de Luce and Paul McLeary.
On this week’s first episode of The E.R., executive editor for news Sharon Weinberger sits down with former ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein, Human Rights Watch’s Kristine Beckele, and Dan de Luce and Paul McLeary to discuss the protracted conflict.
Amb. (ret.) Gerald Feierstein is director for Gulf affairs and government relations at the Middle East Institute. He retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in May 2016 after a 41-year career with the personal rank of Career Minister. As a diplomat he served in nine overseas postings, including three tours of duty in Pakistan, as well as assignments in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, Jerusalem, and Tunisia. In 2010, President Obama appointed Amb. Feierstein U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, where he served until 2013. From 2013 until his retirement, Amb. Feierstein was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. Follow him on Twitter: @j_feierstein.
Kristine Beckerle is the Yemen and UAE researcher in the Middle East and North Africa Division at Human Rights Watch, investigating international human rights and humanitarian law violations in Yemen and human rights abuses in the United Arab Emirates. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, Kristine worked with UNRWA, the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees, in Amman, Jordan, on issues related to gender-based violence and international protection. Follow her on Twitter: @K_Beckerle.
Sharon Weinberger is FP’s executive editor for news. She is the author of The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World. Follow her on Twitter: @weinbergersa.
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