The Atlantic

What the Yemen Vote Reveals About the Democratic Party

It’s finally moving left on foreign policy.
Source: Henry Nicholls / Reuters

For several years now, commentators have wondered if Democrats—who have shifted left on domestic issues—would shift left on foreign policy, too. We now know the answer; the shift is under way. The clearest evidence yet is the Senate’s vote last Wednesday to move forward a bill that would end America’s role in the war in Yemen. It signals the birth of a post-Obama Democratic foreign policy.

Remember that America’s participation in Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen did not begin under Donald Trump. It began under Barack Obama.

In spring 2015, after Houthi rebels backed—though not controlled—by Iran took over much of Yemen, the Saudis asked the Obama administration for military help. The rebels, Riyadh claimed, might threaten Saudi Arabia itself. Some in the administration felt uneasy, a former White House official told me. But the Saudis were already angry about Obama’s push for a nuclear deal with Iran. “The view among most of the cabinet,” the former White House official explained, “was that if we didn’t come to the Saudis’ help when they felt they were threatened by an Iranian-backed rebel

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