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Tags: house committee | afghanistan | withdrawal

House GOP Calls Witnesses About Afghan Withdrawal

A plane preparing to leave Afghanistan
A plane preparing to leave Afghanistan (AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 March 2023 02:49 PM EST

Republicans on Wednesday are calling six witnesses to testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the chaotic U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan last year, The Washington Post reported.

"What happened in Afghanistan was a systemic breakdown of the federal government at every level — and a stunning failure of leadership by the Biden Administration," said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas.

He added that "as a result, the world watched heartbreaking scenes unfold in and around the Kabul airport."

Wednesday's testimony is the first in what could be numerous hearings as congressmen probe how security in Afghanistan fell apart and left tens of thousands vulnerable as the Taliban took over the country, including the suicide attack at the Kabul airport that killed 13 U.S. military personnel.

The airport was the main focus of the crisis, as more than 124,000 people were flown to safety but thousands of others were left behind as American troops tried to secure the area.

One of those testifying before the House committee is Sgt. Tyler Vargas-Andrews, who lost an arm and a leg in the suicide attack at the airport. He has said part of the Pentagon's description of the incident is incorrect, insisting that he had identified the suspected suicide bomber among those attempting to get inside the airport, but was denied permission by his commander to kill the man, The Washington Post reported.

Other witnesses include three military veterans involved with the last-minute effort to help identify and locate thousands of Afghans allied with the U.S. government as they tried to flee the Taliban.

Other disorder in the withdrawal included the U.S. carrying out a drone attack on a compound near the airport that the military claimed killed a potential second suicide bomber. But American officials a few days after the attack admitted they had made a mistake and instead killed 10 people in an Afghan family, including seven children.

A recent independent assessment of the withdrawal has blamed both the Biden and Trump administrations for failing to make sure over the final years of the U.S.' presence in the country that the Afghan military could function without American backing.

The assessment also found that the "first factor" in the collapse was the Trump administration's decision to remove U.S. military personnel and military contractors "through the February 2020 signing of the U.S.-Taliban agreement," which was then compounded by the withdrawal itself following President Joe Biden's "public address in April 2021."

Brian Freeman

Brian Freeman, a Newsmax writer based in Israel, has more than three decades writing and editing about culture and politics for newspapers, online and television.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Republicans on Wednesday are calling six witnesses to testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the chaotic U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan last year, The Washington Post reported.
house committee, afghanistan, withdrawal
408
2023-49-08
Wednesday, 08 March 2023 02:49 PM
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