March 04, 2021

Biden can’t bring peace to Yemen while Iran keeps sending weapons: The latest round of U.S. diplomacy will fail without additional leverage.

Originally published in Foreign Policy

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the United States will provide $191 million in additional aid to the Yemeni people, who suffer from what he called “the largest and most urgent” humanitarian crisis in the world. Blinken said the United States has now given more than $3.4 billion in humanitarian  assistance to Yemen since the conflict began in 2015.

This assistance will save many lives, but the sad truth is that no amount of aid will dramatically or durably improve conditions until Yemen’s conflict ends. Blinken recognized as much: “We can only end the humanitarian crisis in Yemen by ending the war in Yemen.” The United States, he said, is therefore “reinvigorating our diplomatic efforts to end the war.”

But diplomacy will fail without additional leverage. By ending support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, U.S. President Joe Biden has sought to put pressure on Riyadh. But pressuring only one side in a conflict—while failing to apply real pressure on the other—simply leaves the latter emboldened.

Continue reading at Foreign Policy.