There was no declaration of war, nor any indication of congressional approval of the NSC action.
The announcement followed the open secret that U.S. forces had been providing logistics and intelligence support for months before that to Saudi Arabia in waging a war that has perhaps even less reason for U.S. involvement than the other conflicts America is waging in the Middle East region. These include Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Syria.
The ongoing civil war in Yemen includes a disparate group of elements, although it is basically an intra-Muslim war between Sunnis and Shiites, which should have nothing to do with American interests in the region or in the world. On the one side, there are the Sunni Yemeni forces of current President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, supported by Saudi Arabia and some other Sunni-ruled states of the Gulf Cooperation Council. On the other side are Shiite Muslim Houthi Yemeni forces, supported by Sunni Yemeni forces loyal to former Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The Houthis, Shiites like the majority of Iranians, are also supported loosely by Iran. The war, in a sense, is a battlefield in the contest for domination of the Persian Gulf region between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran. Again, there is no good reason for the United States to take a position as a combatant in that contest, in Yemen or anywhere else. In other words, let the Muslims wage this struggle among themselves. It would be as if Egypt were to have involved itself in the former conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.
Apart from what seems to be an irresistible urge on the part of the United States to meddle in every struggle on the planet, the only reason for U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen — which involves pounding the life out of poverty-stricken, starving Yemenis — is the long-standing U.S. alliance with the Saudi monarchy, one of the most justice-free regimes on the face of the Earth. That argument might hold water if the war in Yemen represented any threat to the Saudis. It does not, and, apart from substantial sales to Saudi Arabia by the U.S. arms industry, linking its armed forces to ours, there is no reason for continued U.S. involvement in this truly inhumane war against a pathetic victim.
In the meantime, of course, both the Islamic State and al-Qaida are taking advantage of the substantial chaos in Yemen to implant themselves there. United Nations-sponsored peace talks are underway in Kuwait but are not doing well. That is where the United States should apply its pressure, not by helping the Saudis bomb Yemen.