Republicans ready to take control of the House are gearing up to investigate the Biden administration's disastrous U.S. troops withdrawal from Afghanistan.
A suicide bombing that killed 13 U.S. service members and more than 100 Afghans during the finals days of the August 2021 withdrawal highlighted the calamity of removing the troops.
"Why did it go so badly? Why were Americans left behind? Why were Afghan partners we promised to protect, 100,000 of them, left to the Taliban?" incoming Foreign Affairs Committee chair Michael McCaul, R-Texas, told The New Republic (TNR).
"For you to make this kind of decision, for God's sake have a plan. And what was the plan? I haven't seen one."
Multiple committees are expected to investigate the withdrawal, which saw the evacuation of tens of thousands of Afghans.
Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the incoming chair of the House Oversight Committee, also has promised an investigation.
Probes into the Afghanistan troops withdrawal likely would join expected investigations into the Biden administration's action’s regarding the migrant surge at the southern border, first son Hunter Biden's foreign business dealings, and the alleged politicization of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI.
Besides the suicide bombing, the botched withdrawal operation also included a bungled U.S. drone strike that killed 10 civilians.
McCaul in October sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling on the DOJ to preserve any and all records pertaining to the troops withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The lawmaker has accused the State Department, Treasury Department, and the U.S. Agency for International Development of blocking oversight efforts by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
Comer recently told TNR that he was particularly interested in what equipment had been left behind in Afghanistan by the U.S. military.
"We don’t know who to hold accountable for the debacle in Afghanistan. We don’t know who made the decisions," Comer told TNR. "We’ve requested information. That’s our first step. We’ll evaluate the information, then determine who we need to either interview or bring before the committee."
McCaul told TNR that he believed some Democrats would be open to investigating the withdrawal.
"I want it to be a bipartisan exercise," McCaul told the outlet. "I know Democrats will defend the administration on this, but [the withdrawal] was so badly done."
TNR also reported that many veterans who served in Afghanistan are concerned about how Afghan allies who aided the U.S. military have been unable to obtain special immigrant visas.
"We need [Congress] to not just lay blame. It’s easy to do that, and they may feel the need to do that. But if they truly want to solve problems and get to the bottom of this issue, then we need to take care of the Afghans we left behind," Thomas Porter, executive vice president of government affairs at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, told the outlet.
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