Senate Republicans Want Bipartisan Committee to Investigate Afghan Exit Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., listens during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
By Peter Malbin | Tuesday, 05 October 2021 02:02 PM
Senate Republicans on Tuesday introduced legislation aimed at investigating the Biden administration's hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The effort is being led by Sens. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Rick Scott, R-Fla., and would create a bipartisan select committee composed of members of the House and Senate, The Hill reported.
Co-sponsors of the bill included 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, Democrat lawmakers have yet to sign on.
President Joe Biden wanted U.S. forces to leave Afghanistan by Sept. 11. He said he was complying with a 2020 deal signed by former President Donald Trump with the Taliban to leave the country by May 1.
But when the U.S. withdrew in August, the Western-backed Afghan government collapsed. The Taliban quickly seized control of the country, and thousands of priority evacuees were stranded.
This included nearly a hundred American citizens and Afghans who aided the 20-year U.S. and international presence in the country.
An Aug. 26 suicide bombing at Kabul’s airport killed as many as 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members.
A Pew research survey found that most Americans supported leaving Afghanistan but were critical of the manner in which the exit was handled.
"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."
Hawley previously called for the resignations of Jake Sullivan, national security adviser, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Blinken testified in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in September, with Republican senators accusing him and other Biden foreign policy officials of poor intelligence, and misleading the public about the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Blinken tried to deflect the criticism and maintained the administration had done the best it could considering the Trump administration's 2020 deal, and the "unexpected" collapse of the Afghan government.
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