House Republicans call for inspector general investigation of Afghanistan troop withdrawal
About a dozen House GOP lawmakers introduced a resolution on Tuesday calling for the Pentagon inspector general to conduct an investigation into the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.), asks that the Pentagon inspector general look into three areas of the U.S. withdrawal mission: how U.S. equipment — including Humvees, helicopters, artillery and drones — ended up in the Taliban’s possession, the extent to which Afghan forces who had U.S. equipment entered Iran with the technology and the effectiveness of the evacuation of U.S. citizens and allied personnel from Afghanistan.
The lawmakers asked that the report be submitted to Congress no later than 90 days upon the resolution’s passing and calls for recommendations to legislative action.
“If the President of the United States is not going to be straight with the American people, all while American lives are being left in Afghanistan at the mercy of the Taliban, then Congress has both the moral and constitutional obligation to demand accountability of any and all Biden Administration officials who deliberately put American lives at risk,” Gimenez wrote in a statement announcing the resolution.
He accused Biden of making “categorically false statements to the American people” on a number of topics, including the security and preparedness of the U.S. embassy in Kabul for the withdrawal, reports of no al Qaeda militants being in Afghanistan, that U.S. allies are “not questioning the President’s judgement” and “changing readouts with our most important allies.”
The resolution comes as the Biden administration is facing heat from both sides of the aisle regarding his decision to pull all U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The withdrawal mission led to a crisis in Afghanistan, with Afghan security forces quickly deteriorating amid an increased offensive by the Taliban.
GOP lawmakers have been especially critical of Biden in the wake of the situation in Afghanistan. Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) called on Biden to “resign immediately” on Monday, following the lead of Reps. Jefferson Van Drew (R-N.J.) and Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.).
A number of congressional committees have already signaled that they plan to hold hearings regarding the Afghanistan withdrawal, where a number of administration officials will likely be grilled about the chaotic exit.
The administration is now working to evacuate all remaining American citizens and Afghan allies from the country as the security situation continues to worsen.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), a co-sponsor of the resolution calling for an inspector general investigation and a critic of the U.S. withdrawal process, said such a probe is “critical.”
“The American people deserve answers about how and why the Biden Administration went forward with this approach when it was clear that the fallout would jeopardize the safety of Americans still in Afghanistan, endanger our Afghan partners who have fought alongside us for two decades, and threaten our broader national security interests,” Cheney said in a statement.
“This is a critical investigation and I urge my colleagues to support it so we can learn the truth about how this unfolded and ensure our country never makes such a catastrophic mistake again,” she added.