December 5, 2022

Dawson County Journal

Dawson County, Nebraska

House Republicans demand accountability from Blinken, Austin one year after Afghanistan withdrawal

EXCLUSIVE: Dozens of House Republicans are demanding answers from the Pentagon and State Department’s leadership one year after the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, which saw 13 U.S. service members killed and hundreds of Americans left behind as the country was overrun by the Taliban.

“The absolute failure of the Afghanistan withdrawal carries no less pain today than it did twelve months ago,” Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., who led a letter signed by 64 lawmakers Tuesday to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Fox News Digital. 

“There must be accountability for the complete and total failure on the part of Joe Biden and those who were advising him. We owe it to our fellow Americans, to our allies in Afghanistan, and to the loved ones of the thirteen service members who lost their lives at the Kabul airport to get answers from this administration,” he continued.

The lawmakers are sending a letter to Austin and Blinken seeking responses to many “unanswered questions” in the year since the U.S. withdrawal.

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“On the first anniversary of the disastrous withdrawal of American troops, equipment, and personnel from Afghanistan, we write with regard to the many unanswered questions that still surround this unnecessary loss of life, including 13 members of the military and Americans left behind,” the Republicans, including GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik and Chief Deputy Whip Drew Ferguson, write.

“There must be more transparency and significant oversight to ensure that disasters on this scale will be prevented moving forward. We must also ensure that those in charge are held accountable for their actions that led to this catastrophe,” they continue.

A spokesperson for President Biden’s National Security Council drafted a memo earlier this month defending the administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, writing that the president “refused to send another generation of Americans to fight a war that should have ended long ago.”

“Bringing our troops home strengthened our national security by better positioning us to confront the challenges of the future and put the United States in a stronger place to lead the world,” wrote National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson.

The House members listed a series of questions, including: 

The State Department did not give a number when asked by Fox News Digital how many Americans who want to leave and Afghans who have applied for SIVs remain in Afghanistan.

“We continue to work with U.S. citizens who have expressed a desire to depart Afghanistan and have the necessary travel documents to do so,” a spokesman said. “This number fluctuates regularly as U.S. citizens change their minds about leaving, or as some continue to return to Afghanistan for various reasons.”

“Your mismanagement on every level of the withdrawal of American troops and personnel from Afghanistan deserves serious and diligent oversight. We await your responses,” the Republicans write.

“The fall of Kabul represents a complete and utter failure of leadership by those in charge.”

Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.


Source: Politics