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Republican report knocks Biden’s Afghanistan retreat, eyes post-midterm scrutiny

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.(File photo)

US Republican senators are planning to use an interim report about President Joe Biden’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan to scrutinize him if the party clinches the majority in Congress this year.

The strategy is expected to be published this week in a 118-page, an interim report called “‘A Strategic Failure’:  Assessing the Administration’s Afghanistan Withdrawal.” 

The report offers a detailed look at last year’s chaotic withdrawal, which created horrific scenes of chaos outside and inside Kabul international airport.

One year ago, the Taliban took over power in Afghanistan in the midst of Biden’s withdrawal of US forces from the country.

Included in the report are Republicans’ intentions, if they take the majority, to use subpoena power to compel officials to sit for transcribed interviews, naming 34 current and former officials that they say the State Department has blocked from appearing before the committee

“The Biden administration had largely wasted the four months since the president announced the full withdrawal, failing to adequately plan for the anticipated Taliban takeover,” the committee wrote. 

Republican lawmakers request that Biden officials appear for open hearings or risk being subpoenaed.

If they take the majority, the Republicans plan to use subpoena power to compel officials to sit for transcribed interviews, naming 34 current and former officials that they say the State Department has blocked from appearing before the committee.

Republicans also plan to subpoena documents that they say the State Department has failed to provide, including “documents, messages, reports, legal opinions, meeting readouts, and other materials related to the withdrawal from Afghanistan.” 

They primarily focus on a lack of planning leading up to the withdrawal and analyze a series of missteps and errors that complicated what was ultimately a deadly evacuation. 

Videos of tragic incidents, recorded by Afghan news media, were widely shared on social media, showing desperate Afghans trying to climb onto the exterior of the US C-17 cargo plane and falling from it following takeoff.

It remains unclear how many people lost their lives in the incident.

The situation in Afghanistan aggravated in the aftermath of the withdrawal of the US forces, who invaded the country more than two decades ago to topple the Taliban in response to the September 11 attacks in the United States.

“The failure to anticipate a surge of refugees at the Kabul airport, often referred to as Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA), despite the military assessing Kabul to be at risk of falling to the Taliban, combined with an inadequate number of US personnel initially deployed, created the powder keg that exploded with the chaotic scenes that reverberated around the world, including images of Afghans falling to their deaths,” the lawmakers wrote.  


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