May 03, 2018

Kaine Statement on U.S. Special Forces Supporting Saudi Arabia in Yemen

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, released the following statement on reports that U.S. Special Forces have been secretly supporting Saudi Arabia as it battles Yemen’s Houthi rebels:  

“The Trump Administration’s purposeful blurring of lines between train and equip missions and combat, from Niger to Yemen, is unacceptable. It runs afoul of our system of checks and balances in war powers and is deepening our involvement in endless wars without a vote of Congress. The Administration’s claim that U.S. military support to Saudi Arabia – which has included aircraft, weapons, training, intelligence, and refueling – does not constitute involvement in ‘hostilities’ is absurd. This is yet another example of why we urgently need a debate and vote on the blank check that’s been given to the President to wage wars. The Corker-Kaine AUMF would not authorize the engagement of U.S. military forces in Yemen’s civil war, and it would force Congress to finally take back its authority to decide who and where we are fighting.”

For years, Kaine has been outspoken about Presidents’ efforts to expand the use of military force without congressional authorization. Last month, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Kaine introduced a bipartisan AUMF to authorize continued military action against ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban and take away the blank check Congress has given the President to wage war. This new AUMF would repeal the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs that multiple Presidents have stretched to fight wars across the world, and it would reassert Congress’ role in authorizing military action to ensure that the troops risking their lives know that Congress and the country have deemed the mission to be in the national interest.