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Since 2015, the Saudiā€‘led coalition’s campaign in Yemen has killed thousands of civilians, crippled hospitals and infrastructure, and helped create what is currently one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. The United States’ involvement in the Yemen conflict has not only caused serious damage to its reputation but also harmed its strategic interests by allowing Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to solidify its grasp on territory while increasing support for terrorist acts against the US and its interests.

A 2019 research report from CNA, Promoting Civilian Protection During Security Assistance: Learning from Yemen, finds that the tragedy of Yemen offers lessons on urgently needed policies to integrate civilian protection into US security assistance. Although the US is the world’s largest dealer in arms, it currently does not have a policy addressing civilian protection challenges when a recipient of military assistance uses force. The only significant policy constraint on US assistance is the international humanitarian law (IHL), which requires that the recipient comply with the law in its military operations. But evidence of violations is practically impossible to establish.

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  • Pages:
  • Document Number: ISI-2024-U-037494-Final
  • Publication Date: 1/30/2024