Congress

House GOP blames Biden for botched 2021 US exit from Afghanistan

House Republicans have demanded more answers from the Biden administration about the turbulent removal of troops from Afghanistan in August 2021.

U.S. troops and Afghan allies prepare to leave Afghanistan in August 2021.
AP
SMS

The House Foreign Affairs Committee held its first hearing under Republican leadership Wednesday involving the United States’ chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021. 

House Republicans called the meeting, saying they have not gotten sufficient answers from the Biden administration about what caused the turbulent exit from the country. 

Amid the withdrawal, 13 U.S. troops were killed in an attack near a Kabul airport. More than 100 Afghan citizens were also killed.

Desperate Afghan citizens also tried to board military airplanes out of Kabul. 

House GOP wastes no time launching investigations
House GOP wastes no time launching investigations

House GOP wastes no time launching investigations

With their new majority in hand, House Republicans have made it clear that government oversight will be a huge focus.

LEARN MORE

In a two-week span, more than 80,000 people were flown out of Kabul. As the U.S. left, the Taliban retook control of the Afghanistan government. 

Before Republicans took control of the House, Rep. Michael McCaul issued an interim report in 2022 on the U.S. exit from Afghanistan.  In the report, McCaul placed blame on the Biden administration, saying the president was advised to keep a small number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. 

"Multiple people in the Biden Administration said they’d plan for every contingency. They did not. Instead, they spent the next four months ignoring the realities.As a result, when the Taliban rapidly captured territory during the summer of 2021 and entered Kabul on August 15th – we simply weren’t ready," McCaul, who now chairs the committee, said.

The hearing will include testimony from several service members who were stationed in Afghanistan.  

"State would not want to deal with the Afghans unable to be processed. Weakening the security of the perimeter, State would take us away from our mission to walk Afghans out to meet the fate of the Taliban, condemning them to death," said Marine Sgt. Tyler Vargas-Andrews .

On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department issued a joint statement with other Western envoys describing the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. 

The envoys noted their “grave concern” for the “increased threat to security and stability in Afghanistan and the deterioration of the humanitarian and economic situation, with more than 28 million Afghans now in need of humanitarian aid.”