HomeUS News updateHouse GOP kicks off its first hearing on the botched Afghanistan withdrawal

House GOP kicks off its first hearing on the botched Afghanistan withdrawal

WASHINGTON – House Republicans will hold their first hearing on Wednesday on the failed 2021 withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan since they won the majority withdrawal.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee, led by Chairman Mike McCaul, R-Texas, will hear from a handful of Afghanistan War veterans, some of whom were directly affected by the devastating evacuation that killed 13 American service members and 20 others at Kabul airport. Pass got injured in a terrorist attack. At least 170 civilians were also killed.

In a 115-page interim report released last fall, McCaul blamed President Joe Biden’s administration for the chaos at the airport, saying it had failed to properly plan for the fallout of the return.

“What happened in Afghanistan was a systematic breakdown of the federal government at every level – and a stunning failure of leadership by the Biden administration. As a result, the world witnessed heart-wrenching scenes in and around Kabul airport.

“I want every Gold and Blue Star family member, and every veteran out there who watches this hearing: I will not rest until we determine how this happened – and hold those responsible ,” They said.

According to a report last year by the Association of Wartime Allies, a non-profit non-governmental organization, the US also turned away Afghan allies, including an estimated 78,000 who worked for the US government and had special visas. have applied.

Multiple GOP-led committees, including the House Armed Services and Oversight Panel, are investigating the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. But in inviting the veterans to testify on Wednesday, the Foreign Affairs Committee seeks to draw attention to the human toll of the chaotic return.

Among those testifying will be Marine Sgt. Tyler Vargas-Andrews, who was deployed with his sniper team at Kabul airport to help with the evacuation. He was nearly killed in the bombing of the Abbey Gate on 26 August 2021. Vargas-Andrews lost multiple limbs and two limbs, and has had 44 operations since that day.

Afghan people board a Kam Air plane at the airport in Kabul on August 6, 2021.
Afghan people board a Kam Air plane at the airport in Kabul on August 6, 2021.Vakil Kohsar/AFP Via Getty Images File

Others who will appear include Scott Mann, a former Green Beret who served several tours in Afghanistan and founded Task Force Pineapple, which helped evacuate nearly 1,000 Afghan collaborators from the country, and Aiden Gunderson, a former Army veteran. combat medic, who was deployed to Afghanistan twice. and helped with the evacuation.

After the deadly attack on Kabul airport, Biden pointed out that he had inherited the deal his predecessor, Donald Trump, cut with the Taliban for US forces to leave Afghanistan by May 2021. Biden said it was the right decision to complete the exit plan. And end two decades of war instead of sending troops back and escalating the conflict.

Biden said in a speech after the attack, “I fully stand by my decision.” “After 20 years, I have learned the hard way that there is never a good time to withdraw the US military.”

Haley Talbot Contribution,



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