About 2,500 American soldiers died in Afghanistan, a conflict that became the longest war the United States has fought.
Republican lawmakers have launched an investigation into the U.S. military’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, which allowed for an immediate Taliban takeover and led to scenes of thousands of desperate people storming Kabul’s airport, some clinging to departing U.S. planes as they rolled down the runway.
Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Friday he had written to Secretary of State Antony Blinken asking for a range of data, from intelligence assessments to communications with the Taliban.
McCaul, a longtime opposition member on the committee that became chairman after the House fell under Republican control at the beginning of the year, said it was “absurd and disgraceful” that US President Joe Biden’s administration “continues to withhold information about the withdrawal.” . ”.
“In the event of continued non-compliance, the commission will use available authorities to enforce these requests where appropriate, including through a mandatory process,” he said.
Thirteen US soldiers were killed in a bombing outside Kabul airport on August 26, 2021 as the capital fell, as the government crumbled days later, despite US and NATO forces having spent $2 trillion in Afghanistan over two decades pumped.
While Trump sealed the withdrawal with the Taliban, his Republican Party has flatly criticized Biden’s handling of the operation and promised hearings as part of a series of investigations into his administration.
The scenes of desperate Afghans clinging to moving US military jets as they taxied onto the Kabul airport runway preceded a sharp drop in Biden’s approval ratings nine months after he was elected a promising, capable leadership following the pandemonium under his predecessor Donald Trump.
The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday, but has provided more than 150 briefings to members of Congress since the withdrawal in August 2021, according to US media.
About 2,500 US troops died in what became the country’s longest war, but Afghanistan was no longer a priority domestically, with 50 percent of respondents in a Gallup poll conducted a year after the withdrawal saying the entire war was a mistake.