Top House Republicans vow to hold Biden admin. responsible for Afghanistan withdrawal

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, speaks during a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing looking into the firing of State Department Inspector General Steven Linick, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Stefani Reynolds/Pool via AP) Stefani Reynolds, POOL / Associated Press

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, speaks during a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing looking into the firing of State Department Inspector General Steven Linick, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Stefani Reynolds/Pool via AP)
Stefani Reynolds, POOL / Associated Press

OAN Newsroom
Updated 6:20 AM PT – Monday, August 15, 2022

Top House Republicans marked one year since the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan by vowing to hold the Biden administration accountable. In an op-ed published Monday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and four committee ranking members said the administration has denied Congress as well as the American public adequate answers about the withdrawal.

The lawmakers contended officials need to provide answers on why they misled Congress and the public for months about the situation in Afghanistan leading up to and during the withdrawal. They said if Republicans take the majority next Congress, they will hold open hearings and provided transparency about the administration’s actions.

Americans are calling today a day of lamentation as they reflect on the day the Afghan government started to fall. On Sunday, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) gave his assessment on the botched withdrawal a year later. He stressed, there was a severe disconnect from what the Intelligence reports were saying that a Taliban takeover was imminent and would happen swiftly in comparison to what the White House and State Department was saying.

McCaul said State Department and White House officials saw the conflict in a more rose colored lens and thought they had time to get all Americans and allies out of the country. This vision came despite not having enough resources for an effective evacuation plan.

“There was no plan and there was no plan executed,” stated the Texas lawmaker. “Even beforehand, I think the State Department probably didn’t have the resources they needed to carry out an evacuation of this size and enormity. They had 36 consular officers trying to process hundreds-of-thousands of people. They were overwhelmed, but there were so many mistakes.”

McCaul went on to stress the State Department promised those in Afghanistan working with the US would be able to escape the persecution of the Taliban. However, that has not happened and those allies are being hunted down and tortured.

Strategic analyst, General Jack Keane said the Taliban has now resurrected its severely draconian laws restricting women’s dress and behaviors as well as economic policies, in turn, running the country into the ground. The general stressed this would not have happened if President Joe Biden had listened to the experts, but he took a different path instead .

“Still, it was an acceptable stalemate as far as many policymakers were concerned,” Keane explained. “The President thought he knew better and he was very defiant and he rejected all of their advice. Then he presented a false narrative to the American people, which I find very disturbing. He said my choice is get out now or have t out thousands of American troops back in here to fight the Taliban and take casualties doing that. We have not been in direct combat with the Taliban since 2014…that was a completely false narrative that he presented to the American people.”

Meanwhile, other operators and Americans who served during the war in Afghanistan believe there were several problems leading to the withdrawal. Navy SEAL turned author Jack Carr has repeatedly said accountability was lacking during the fight, in turn, resulting in ineffective military officers to fail up. He also said in the final days of the withdrawal the military and State Department “rushed to their death,” which is something he said he learned not to do while in the SEALs.

Retired Army General and former Director of the CIA, David Petraeus further lamented in a recent op-ed that America’s commitment to supporting the Afghan government was shaky throughout the conflict. Petraeus went on to say within years after the initial invasion in 2001, leaders shifted focus elsewhere to conflicts like in Iraq while taking resources away from the fight against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. This allowed those terrorist groups to grow stronger. He also says even when the military was more aggressive in its tactics against terror groups, those efforts were short lived and didn’t have enough force to keep those groups at bay.

“So there were alternatives,” Petraeus  noted. “It would not have removed all of our boots on the ground to be sure, but we would have kept bases in Afghanistan, which are important not just for Afghanistan but for the regional counterterrorism campaign. And it certainly would have avoided what I think is quite a devastating situation for Afghanistan and the Afghan people, whom we tried to help for 20 years and have literally left behind.”

Meanwhile, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger suggested Afghanistan could be indicative of a larger problem among the US security establishment. He said top military leaders and diplomats are “responding to the emotion of the moment.” In his analysis, this seems to not only have led to the development of a stronger Taliban, but it is also leading America towards wars with Russia and China without knowing how they are going to end.

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Amber Coakley
Author: Amber Coakley

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