House Republicans are reportedly planning an investigation of President Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, which will occur next month when the GOP regains control of the House.
On August 15, 2021, the Taliban seized control of Kabul following the Biden administration’s failed withdrawal from Afghanistan. On that day, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul was forced to evacuate. On August 26, amid the scramble to evacuate U.S. troops and Afghan allies from the region, 13 service members were killed in a suicide bombing — 11 U.S. Marines, a sailor and a soldier.
Republicans have blamed the Biden administration for their deaths, with Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) arguing in a statement that the soldiers “unnecessarily lost their lives as they tried to manage a chaotic situation their commander in chief never should have put them in.”
“President Biden’s poor judgment caused unnecessary chaos and loss of life,” he added in the statement, which was released on the anniversary of the botched withdrawal.
House Republicans are now taking that criticism one step further, as they have begun the process of investigating the Biden administration’s actions.
For well over a year, House Democrats have refused to investigate the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan that led to the death of 13 servicemembers. That will change soon.
— Rep. Mark Green (@RepMarkGreen) November 17, 2022
Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, has formally requested documents and the declassification of materials from several agencies that were involved in the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
According to reporting from Axios, the Kentucky Republican has written an internal memo which accused the Biden administration of “illegal” obstruction after he received new material from the official watchdog that is overseeing the reconstruction in Afghanistan.
Comer’s memo reportedly outlined a “pattern of obstruction by the Biden Administration” — citing emails from John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), who provided the documents to the House Oversight Committee.
The Republican congressman also sent letters regarding SIGAR to the State Department, the National Security Council, the Department of Homeland Security, the Pentagon and USAID.
Comer also requested documents from each of the agencies.
According to Axios, Republicans are also asking to hear from the National Security Council and the State Department about the planning and communication regarding the withdrawal from Afghanistan — as well as details about any other contingency plans.
The House GOP is also requesting that the Pentagon provide them with information about troop withdrawal and answers as to why air support was removed before all U.S. citizens had been evacuated.
Additionally, Republicans have asked for information from DHS about “Operation Allies Welcome,” which resettled “vulnerable” Afghan refugees in the United States, and are inquiring about the vetting and relocation process for refugees.