Biden Pentagon Denies It’s at War with Houthis, Despite Biden Submitting ‘War Powers’ Notifications to Congress

Biden Pentagon denies that it is at war against the Iran-backed Houthi force, even though President Joe Biden submitted notification of military action as required by the War Powers Resolution.

Reporters asked Sabrina Singh, Deputy Pentagon Press Secrtary on January 18 if the U.S. now had a war with the Houthis after another round of military strikes by the U.S. against Houthi forces. She, responded:

We are not at a war with the Houthis. If I were to define it, that would be a more clear statement from the United States.

Biden, however, has sent at least two notifications under the War Powers Resolution to Congress, which outlines the president’s responsibility for reporting on the commitment of U.S. troops into hostilities in the absence of an official declaration of war.


According to the War Powers Resolution, the president must notify Congress within 48-hours of sending armed forces “into hostilities, or situations in which hostilities appear imminent”, and explain why this was necessary. He also has to provide the legal and constitutional authority for the move, as well as the estimated duration and scope of hostilities.

The resolution also demands that the president provide Congress with any information it may require to fulfill its constitutional obligations “regarding the commitment of the Nation to war, and the use by the United States Armed Forces overseas.”

Biden informed Congress on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2024 after the U.S., U.K., and France conducted another round military strikes in Yemen against the Houthis, as a response to the Houthis shooting missiles at U.S. commercial ships and U.S. naval vessels in the Red Sea, since October.

Biden wrote:

“I directed this action in accordance with my constitutional authority, as Commander in Chief and President of the United States and to conduct United States’ foreign relations. I did so in order to protect United States Citizens both at home and abroad in addition to furthering national security and foreign policies interests. The United States took the necessary and proportionate actions in accordance with international law, and to exercise the inherent right of self defense of the United States as stated in Article 51 in the United Nations Charter. The United States is ready to take additional action as needed and appropriate to respond to further threats or assaults.”

He said, “I provide this report in order to inform the Congress, as per Public Law 93-14.” I am grateful for the Congress’ support in this matter.

Biden had already sent a notification to Congress with the same reasoning on January 12, 2024.

Biden’s administration claims that they are acting in “self defense,” even though at the beginning of the strikes, officials from the Department of Defense claimed that Houthis were attacking commercial vessels. It was unclear if the Houthis had been targeting U.S. Military ships. The U.S. Military began to state that the Houthis targeted U.S. naval ships over time.

Senators from both parties have expressed concern over Biden’s decision to send U.S. troops into combat without the approval of Congress.

Sens. Tim Kaine (DVA), Chris Murphy DCT), Mike Lee RUT), Todd Young RIN wrote a letter on 23 January to Biden:

The Constitution of the United States requires that, absent a positive vote by Congress, the United States refrain from military action unless it is necessary to repel an unexpected attack.

We have advocated for a deliberate process in Congress and for authorizations of decisions that place servicemembers at risk overseas. The U.S. Congress has not yet authorized offensive military action against the Houthis.

Biden was also asked to provide additional information on the justifications and authority of his administration, as required by the War Powers Resolution.

Biden’s administration launched the air strikes against the Houthis, despite Biden saying that he did not believe they would stop the Houthis continuing to attack ships on the Red Sea.

Biden responded on 18 January when asked if airstrikes were working in Yemen: “Well, if you say they are ‘working’, are they stopping Houthis?” No. Do they intend to continue? Yes.”

Defense officials said on Monday that airstrikes have “removed a significant Houthi ability” even though the Houthis had still retained their capability.

“We are certain that the strikes that we took, including the ones tonight, those on January 11, with the same coalition partner, and the self-defense attacks against imminent threats which have occurred in the interim, have significantly reduced the Houthi’s capability,” said a senior official during a background press briefing.

Officials declined to specify how much they believed the Houthis’ capabilities had been reduced.

The Biden administration has promised that the strikes will continue.

CNN reports that the Pentagon’s operation against the Houthis is called “Operation Poseidon Archer” as a sign it will be a long-term operation.

Two recent deaths have been attributed to the U.S. military’s action against Houthis.

The U.S. Navy declared dead earlier this week two missing Navy SEALs, who were part of a mission to seize Iranian arms on a vessel headed towards the Houthis off the coast Somalia.

Pentagon officials have claimed that the seizure operation was distinct from U.S. military actions targeting Houthi forces and U.S. operations to accompany commercial vessels in the Red Sea.