CENTCOM Commander General Joseph Votel answers questions from House Armed Services Member Doug Lamborn.

Congressman Lamborn is a republican representing Colorado’s 5th district. He feels the US needs to take the side of our friends and allies, Saudi Arabia, who are very concerned about Iran using the Houthi rebels as a proxy to destabilize the region. The US should do what they can to support Saudi Arabia without sending troops. The general agrees that he thinks there’s more that can be done and says it will be addressed in the closed session.

Congressman Lamborn:

“How do you evaluate what’s going on in Yemen? I know we had a tragic loss of life with the recent raid, and that was regrettable, but I think it’s very important that we’re supporting Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. And I think it’s overdue that we’re doing that. What are your perspectives on Yemen?”

General Votel:

“I think there are some vital US interests that are at stake here. Certainly we don’t want Yemen to be used as a platform for attacks on our homeland or against our allies or partners around the globe or in the region. I’m extraordinarily concerned about another contested maritime choke point in the region. And so that directly impacts our national interests – freedom of navigation, freedom of commerce – and supports our global economic objectives. And so I think we have to be very concerned about that. I do believe that as long as that [the conflict in Yemen] continues to boil, that it will impact the ability for us to really focus on the other principle interests that we have in that part of the world.”

You can watch the entire Military Assessment of the Security Challenges in the Greater Middle East (ID: 105692) from March 29th, which was streamed live by the US House Armed Services Committee, in the following video.