Republican legislators have launched an investigation into the chaotic United States military withdrawal from Afghanistan, which led to an immediate takeover by the Taliban in August 2021.
Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Friday he had written to Secretary of State Antony Blinken requesting a long list of records, from intelligence assessments to communications with the Taliban.
McCaul, a longstanding opposition member on the committee who became its chairman after the House flipped to Republican control at the start of the year, said it was “absurd and disgraceful” that US President Joe Biden’s administration “continues to withhold information related to the withdrawal”.
“In the event of continued noncompliance, the committee will use the authorities available to it to enforce these requests as necessary, including through a compulsory process,” he said.
According to a statement issued by the House, “after the Biden administration’s chaotic and deadly evacuation from Afghanistan, America’s adversaries have been emboldened and the country has once again become a safe haven for terrorists”.
Despite requesting documents and information on the withdrawal dating back to August 2021, the Biden administration has refused to provide Congress with details.
In one of his first actions as Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a position he stepped into earlier this month, McCaul said in the event of continued noncompliance, the Committee will use the authorities available to it to enforce these requests as necessary, including through a compulsory process.
He said that as Chairman, he takes this matter “very seriously and will pursue this investigation until all our questions are answered and all parties responsible are held accountable. We owe this to the American people, especially our service members and veterans.”
He also set a deadline, stating all documents, information, and any other item requested should be provided no later than January 26, 2023.