The House Oversight Committee has announced a probe into the deadly withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan under President Joe Biden's command, Just The News reported. Thirteen servicemembers were killed and billions of dollars worth of military equipment were abandoned.
During his term, former President Donald Trump began winding down the war after two decades. However, Biden took office and insisted it should happen quickly, which led to a hasty and chaotic pullout in August 2021.
Rep. James Comer (R-KY), committee chairman, announced a probe that would involve many subcommittees. In a statement Friday, Comer said the leaders have begun "requesting all documents, communications, and information related to the Biden Administration’s disastrous military and diplomatic withdrawal" ahead of the move.
Comer and other GOP lawmakers contend that Biden was responsible for the chaos after American forces left. "The Biden Administration was tragically unprepared for the Afghanistan withdrawal, and their decisions in the region directly resulted in a national security and humanitarian catastrophe," Comer said.
"U.S. servicemen and women lost their lives, Americans were abandoned, taxpayer dollars are unaccounted for, the Taliban gained access to military equipment, progress for Afghan women was derailed, and the entire area is now under hostile Taliban control." Now that Republicans have the majority, the administration will have to answer for it.
Letters have also gone out to the Pentagon, White House, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Homeland Security, State Department, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Fox News reported. Comer wants to hold the administration responsible for the "catastrophe" after the withdrawal but believes lawmakers will be stonewalled.
"We are concerned that the Biden administration continues to delay long-overdue transparency to the American people about the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal and evacuation," the committee wrote. While the GOP was still in the minority, at least 10 requests for information and documents have gone without a "substantive response."
The Afghan War Commission, established with the 2022 National Defense Act Authorization, was supposed to get to the bottom of the matter. However, it is not excepted to release a report for three years and has yet to even meet which Republicans have said is "unacceptable."
"The American people deserve answers, and the Biden administration’s ongoing obstruction of this investigation is unacceptable," Comer said to Fox News Digital. "With the power of the gavel, Oversight Republicans are determined to provide answers, transparency, and accountability," he added.
"Every relevant department and agency should be prepared to cooperate and provide all requested information. The American people expect nothing less," Comer said.
Republicans have given the administration until March 1 to respond. They must furnish information and documents on many facets of the decision-making, including orders to close Bagram Airfield and what NATO leaders predicted about the troop withdrawal.
"As of November 2022, the Department has provided more than 150 briefings to bipartisan Members and staff on Afghanistan policy since the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan," a spokesperson from the State Department claimed in a rebuttal. Still, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said the matter was a prime concern for his committee.
"I have subpoena power. I reserve that until necessary," the Texas Republican told Fox. "But I'm prepared to do that to get answers to these questions," McCaul added.
Biden's decisions cost American lives and have turned the region back over to the Taliban. The president and his administration need to answer for that, even if it takes all of Congress to make sure of it.