Stories by Jeff Prescott

Expert Voices

House extends U.S. support for Saudis in Yemen as concerns mount

displaced Yemeni children sitting on a tarp
Displaced children in Yemen's northwestern Hajjah province on November 10, 2018. Photo: Essa Ahmed/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. lawmakers of both parties have lamented the mounting death toll and humanitarian crisis in Yemen's civil war, where civilian casualties have surged more than 160% in recent months and famine imperils 14 million. Yet little-noticed procedural votes in the House this week will prevent Congress from having to debate America’s continuing role in the conflict.

Why it matters: The House votes foreclosed debate on a bipartisan attempt to invoke the War Powers provision, which would have halted all U.S. support to the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi rebels. The murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi has amplified pressure for a re-evaluation of the U.S.-Saudi relationship, but these votes have revealed that questioning the war in Yemen remains a red line for House Republicans.

Expert Voices

Without firm plans, U.S. risking its leverage in North Korea diplomacy

Mike Pompeo seated during his Senate testimony
Secretary of State Pompeo testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on July 25, 2018. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

In Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s congressional testimony on Wednesday, he was asked when we would know if North Korea would choose to follow through on its pledge of complete denuclearization. “I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to that” was his stark response.

Why it matters: After his summit with Kim Jong-un, President Trump said on Twitter that “there is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.” In breaking from his boss on this critical point, Mike Pompeo made clear that, more than two months after the summit, no concrete steps have been taken to address North Korea’s nuclear threat, making the administration's transparency on the negotiations all the more crucial.