Podcast

With Allies Like These

Unwavering U.S. support for Saudi Arabia comes at a terrible price for Yemen.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets US President Donald Trump  prior to the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 7.
Leaders of the world's top economies will gather from July 7 to 8, 2017 in Germany for likely the stormiest G20 summit in years, with disagreements ranging from wars to climate change and global trade. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / IAN LANGSDON        (Photo credit should read IAN LANGSDON/AFP/Getty Images)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets US President Donald Trump prior to the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 7. Leaders of the world's top economies will gather from July 7 to 8, 2017 in Germany for likely the stormiest G20 summit in years, with disagreements ranging from wars to climate change and global trade. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / IAN LANGSDON (Photo credit should read IAN LANGSDON/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

Dan de Luce is FP’s chief national security correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @dandeluce.

Paul McLeary is FP’s senior reporter covering the U.S. Defense Department and national security issues. Follow him on Twitter: @paulmcleary.

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 WorldFollow her on Twitter: @weinbergersa.

Tune in, now three times a week, to FP’s The E.R.

Subscribe to The E.R. and Global Thinkers podcasts on iTunes.

Sharon Weinberger is the executive editor for news at Foreign Policy. @weinbergersa

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