The Yemen War in Numbers: Saudi Escalation and U.S. Complicity

President Biden came into office pledging to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen, yet it has become clear that he has not. Now, in the context of rising oil prices, Biden is considering whether to give in to Saudi and Emirati demands that he escalate assistance for their war in exchange for increasing fossil fuel production. Yet as recent events have demonstrated, America’s partners in the Middle East are hedging despite the Biden administration’s extensive support for their defense: they hope to strengthen their relationships with Moscow and Beijing while continuing to reap the benefits of Washington’s largesse. In the seven years since the Saudi-led coalition launched their war on Yemen, the U.S. has been complicit in selling weapons and providing assistance without which the Saudis could not conduct their military operations.

Join The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill, Yemen Relief and Reconstruction founder Aisha Jumaan, and The Cato Institute’s Justin Logan as they discuss a new brief from the Quincy Institute’s Annelle Sheline, using data to highlight the U.S. role in supporting the war on Yemen and show parallels between Putin’s military assault on Ukraine and Mohammed bin Salman’s seven-year effort to destroy Yemen. Moderated by Quincy’s Executive Vice President Trita Parsi.


Jeremy Scahill

Jeremy Scahill is a Senior Correspondent at The Intercept, and one of the three founding editors. He is an investigative reporter, war correspondent, and author of the international best-selling books, “Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield” and “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.” He has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere. Scahill’s work has sparked several congressional investigations. He was twice awarded the prestigious George Polk Award, in 1998 for foreign reporting and in 2008 for “Blackwater.” Scahill is a producer and writer of the award-winning film “Dirty Wars,” which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award.

Aisha Jumaan

Aisha Jumaan, MPH, PhD, is the President and founder of the Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation (YRRF). Jumaan has over 30 years of experience in public health, including in viral vaccine preventable diseases, cancer research, maternal & child health and nutrition, and women in development. She worked with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for over a decade. Jumaan also worked in her native home, Yemen, with UNFPA and UNDP, where she also participated in health-related program development, evaluation, and training activities for the Peace Corps. She has served on the faculty of Emory University, as well as Sana’a University. Jumaan is currently working as an Independent Consultant coordinating health-related projects in Yemen.

Annelle Sheline

Annelle Sheline, PhD, is the Research Fellow in the Middle East program at the Quincy Institute and an expert on religious and political authority in the Middle East and North Africa. Sheline is completing a book manuscript on the strategic use of religious authority in the Arab monarchies since 9/11, focusing on the cases of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, and Oman. Her non-academic writing has appeared in The Nation, Politico, and Foreign Policy. She earned her PhD in political science from George Washington University and is a non-resident fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Justin Logan

Justin Logan is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He is an expert on U.S. grand strategy, international relations theory, and American foreign policy. His current research focuses on the limited relevance of the Middle East to U.S. national security. His articles have appeared in International Security, the Journal of Strategic Studies, Strategic Studies Quarterly, Foreign Policy, the National Interest, the Harvard International Review, Orbis, the Foreign Service Journal, National Review, Politico Magazine, and the American Prospect, among others. Logan holds a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from American University.

Trita Parsi (Moderator)

Trita Parsi, PhD, is an award-winning author and the 2010 recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. He is an expert on US-Iranian relations, Iranian foreign politics, and the geopolitics of the Middle East. He has authored three books on US foreign policy in the Middle East, with a particular focus on Iran and Israel. He is the co-founder and former President of the National Iranian American Council. He received his PhD in foreign policy at Johns Hopkins’ School for Advanced International Studies, a Master's Degree in International Relations from Uppsala University, and a Master's Degree in Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics.