Samuel Case, FISM News
On Thursday the Senate Armed Services Committee announced it has called high profile members of the Biden administration to testify on September 28 about the botched U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Those asked to give statements before the committee include Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, and Central Command Chief General Frank McKenzie.
The announcement came via a press release, in which Committee Chairman, Jack Reed (D-R.I.), said:
“Although we have completed the withdrawal of American military personnel and over 100,000 civilians from Afghanistan, I remain deeply concerned about the events that accompanied our withdrawal and the ongoing humanitarian crisis. It is the duty of Congress—and the Senate Armed Services Committee in particular—to hold hearings to learn lessons from the situation in Afghanistan and ensure accountability at the highest levels. The Committee will hold a series of hearings to examine the factors and decisions that manifested over four presidential administrations of both political parties to shape the outcome we now face in Afghanistan.”
The press release also included a statement by ranking member Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), which praised Reed for “prioritizing these critical oversight hearings,” adding, “the American people, our service members past and present, our allies and partners around the world and the Afghans who bravely helped us deserve this transparency and accountability.”
Several weeks ago Republicans on the Committee wrote a scathing letter to President Biden, where the senators accused him of never actually having a solid withdrawal plan:
For months, we have been asking you for a plan on your withdrawal from Afghanistan. You failed to provide us with one and based on the horrific events currently unfolding in Afghanistan, we are confident that we never received your plan because you never had one. The security and humanitarian crisis now unfolding in Afghanistan could have been avoided if you had done any planning. Pretending this isn’t your problem will only make things worse.
At the time FISM News reported that House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) said his committee would also be holding a hearing on the disastrous pullout. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will testify before Meeks’ committee next week.