US House Republicans ramp up probe into chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal

The United States House Oversight Committee sent letters to top Biden administration officials on Friday demanding information about the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in 2021.

“The Biden administration was tragically unprepared for the Afghanistan withdrawal and their decisions in the region directly resulted in a national security and humanitarian catastrophe,” committee Chairman Rep. James Comer, said in a statement.

“The American people deserve answers and the Biden administration’s ongoing obstruction of this investigation is unacceptable,” he said.

Comer’s statement comes after he and the chairs of several subcommittees sent letters demanding records, documents and communications about the withdrawal to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley; Secretary of State Antony Blinken; national security adviser Jake Sullivan; Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power.

Speaking on the chaotic withdrawal of US forces in August 2021, Comer stated: “U.S. servicemen and women lost their lives, Americans were abandoned, taxpayer dollars are unaccounted for, the Taliban gained access to military equipment, progress for Afghan women was derailed, and the entire area is now under hostile Taliban control.

“Every relevant department and agency should be prepared to cooperate and provide all requested information,” he said.

A spokesperson for the State Department meanwhile told NBC that it “does not comment on Congressional correspondence,” but “is committed to working with Congressional committees with jurisdiction over U.S. foreign policy to accommodate their need for information to help them conduct oversight for their legitimate legislative purposes.”

The spokesperson also said the department has provided more than 150 briefings to lawmakers and staff on Afghanistan policy since the withdrawal from Afghanistan.