National Security

Senate GOP seeks bipartisan panel to investigate Afghanistan withdrawal

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) speaks to reporters outside the Senate Chamber during a vote on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.
Greg Nash

Senate Republicans on Tuesday introduced legislation aimed at investigating the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, seeking answers on the chaotic and fatal end to America’s longest war.

The effort is being led by Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and would create a bipartisan select committee composed of members of the House and Senate.

Hawley, who is considered a potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate, has been one of the loudest critics of the administration’s withdrawal.

The senator has threatened to block Pentagon and State Department nominees over demands for the resignation of national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

While an estimated 125,000 people were evacuated from Afghanistan amid the fall of the Western-backed government and a Taliban takeover, a firm U.S. exit deadline left thousands of priority evacuees stranded.

This included nearly a hundred American citizens and thousands of Afghans who aided the 20-year U.S. and international presence in the country.

A terrorist attack on Kabul’s main international airport days before the exit deadline in August killed 13 U.S. service members and dozens of Afghans and underscored the chaos and violence of the country. 

“The Biden Administration has purposefully obscured the facts around their botched Afghanistan withdrawal that killed 13 American service members and left hundreds of Americans stranded behind enemy lines,” Hawley said in a statement.

“The American people deserve answers and the Biden administration seems determined to prevent us from getting them. We need a select committee investigation and public hearings to get to the bottom of this debacle and hold officials accountable.”

Co-sponsors of the bill include Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.). While the legislation aims for a bipartisan select committee, Democratic lawmakers have yet to sign on. 

Tags Afghanistan Antony Blinken Jake Sullivan Joni Ernst Josh Hawley Kevin Cramer Mike Braun Steve Daines Thom Tillis
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