President Biden plans to quickly revamp the U.S. involvement in the Middle East as he launches a review of the nation’s deployments worldwide.
In a Thursday press conference, Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan announced the U.S. would end its support of offensive operations in Yemen. This includes halting arms sales to Saudi Arabia that the Trump administration had signed off on, and is part of the U.S.’s attempt to take a “more active, engaged role in diplomacy to bring an end to the conflict” in Yemen, Sullivan said.
Civil war has raged in Yemen for years, creating a devastating humanitarian crisis in the country. The Trump administration had provided arms support to Saudi Arabia and its coalition leading one front in the war, ignoring bipartisan calls from Congress to cut ties. Previously, the Obama administration approved the Saudi air campaign targeting Houthi rebels. Biden’s team didn’t specify what U.S. involvement in the war would look like going forward, but the president is expected to name a special envoy to the region later Thursday. Sullivan did say the change of plans would not affect efforts to fight al-Qaida in the Arabian peninsula.
Also on Thursday, Biden will halt former President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Germany as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reviews U.S. military placement around the world. Biden will speak later today and address the U.S.-designated coup in Myanmar, as well as make other foreign policy decisions official.