On December 12, the Center hosted a discussion on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen with Daniel K. Byman, Senior Fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institute and Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service; and Gerald Feierstein, Director for Gulf Affairs and Government Relations at the Middle East Institute and a forty-one year veteran of the U.S. foreign service, including a stint as U.S. Ambassador to Yemen under President Obama. Geoffrey Kemp, Senior Director for Regional Studies at the Center for the National Interest, moderated.
The Yemeni civil war has been underway for nearly four years causing thousands of civilian casualties, many the result of air strikes delivered by Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates aircraft using American weapons. Iran is also deeply involved in the civil war, providing arms and training to the Houthi insurgents. Yemen now faces a humanitarian crisis of potentially epic proportions with starvation and disease together with acute water shortages. The panel examined various elements of the crisis and possible solutions, including political initiatives.