GOP Lawmakers Renewing Call For Probe Into Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal
GOP lawmakers are now renewing calls for an investigation to be launched into President Joe Biden’s troop withdrawal from Afghanistan last August, according to new reports from The Hill.
“Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., wrote the committee chair, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., to request that Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and national security adviser Jake Sullivan testify before the panel in a public hearing, The Hill said,” Newsmax reported.
“The complete lack of oversight is conspicuously surprising considering the Committee’s consistent and bipartisan engagement on Afghanistan — including your own — prior to the Biden Administration’s botched withdrawal,” Comer and Grothman went on to write. The pair had previously asked for a hearing on this issue back in August and September.
“Rather than pursue transparency and accountability, Committee Democrats have remained idle. Meanwhile, the situation in Afghanistan and the region continues to worsen,” the said.
The two GOP lawmakers said that previous troops withdrawal briefings — including those with the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, State Department, and with the Pentagon — were not satisfactory.
Blinken and Austin are scheduled to testify about Afghanistan in a closed briefing with the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees on Feb. 2.
After being asked about the Republicans’ letter, an Oversight Committee spokesperson told The Hill, “Chairs Maloney and [Stephen Lynch] already held a public hearing that extensively covered the situation in Afghanistan just last month.”
The spokesperson was referring to a Dec. 7 hearing of the National Security Subcommittee.
“Committee Members on both sides of the aisle had the opportunity to question witnesses from the Department of Defense and the Department of State at both the public hearing and at a classified briefing that followed,” the spokesperson told The Hill.
The United States officially pulled troops out of Afghanistan on Aug. 31, which marked the end of the 20-year conflict.
During the last days just before the final withdrawal, the Islamic State launched an attack that ended up killing a total of 92 people, 13 of them being U.S. service members, outside the airport in Kabul.