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Tags: democrats | afghanistan | pentagon | state | subpoena

House Dems Threaten Subpoenas Over Afghanistan

a stop light is seen in front of the u.s. capitol dome
(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 01 September 2020 06:03 PM EDT

Democrats in the House of Representatives are threatening to subpoena officials in the Pentagon and State Department unless they appear to testify about the U.S. involvement in the war in Afghanistan.

A letter signed by 15 Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Committee to Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday demands that the two department heads provide representatives to appear at a Sept. 9 hearing of the nation security subcommittee, both TheHill.com and Stars & Stripes reported.

“Should your departments refuse to appear voluntarily, the Subcommittee will have no other choice but to receive testimony through compulsory process,” the letter reads.

The letter claims that despite trying to obtain testimony for more than a year, the Pentagon already has given notice that it will not attend the hearing and State Department’s key envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, has said he was unable to appear “due to travel.”

The Democrats’ threat comes three weeks after Esper reiterated the administration’s intention to reduce troop numbers in Afghanistan to 5,000 by the end of November.

The letter also referenced a Feb. 29 agreement between the Trump administration and the Taliban to reduce U.S. troop presence to 8,600 by mid-July, which was met. The deal – which promised a complete withdrawal by May of 2021 if conditions were adhered to — included a number of provisions, including the Taliban’s break from the al-Qaeda terror network, a prisoner exchange and talks between the Taliban and Kabul government.

U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Frank McKenzie said in June that “conditions have not been fully met.”

Additionally, a report in The New York Times in June said that preliminary intelligence indicated that Russia had paid “bounties” to the Taliban for U.S. and NATO forces killed in Afghanistan. It was dismissed by Defense Department officials who said there was no corroborating evident to support it and others who claimed it was unlikely since Russia fought the Taliban for nearly nine years before withdrawing.

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Politics
Democrats in the House of Representatives are threatening to subpoena officials in the Pentagon and State Department unless they appear to testify about the U.S. involvement in the war in Afghanistan....
democrats, afghanistan, pentagon, state, subpoena
331
2020-03-01
Tuesday, 01 September 2020 06:03 PM
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