(PresidentialInsider.com)- GOP members of the House Oversight and Reform Committee are once again calling for the committee to host a hearing on how the United States conducted its military troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The ranking Republican member of the panel, James Comer of Kentucky, as well as Wisconsin Representative Glenn Grotham and New York Representative Carolyn Maloney, all sent a letter asking three Biden administration officials to testify for the panel at a public hearing.
The officials they’re hoping to have appear before them are Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser; Antony Blinken, the secretary of state; and Lloyd Austin, the defense secretary.
The three GOP members of the House committee say they aren’t satisfied by previous briefings regarding the troop withdrawal, including some that were held with the State Department, Pentagon and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
Grotham and Comer had previously requested a similar hearing about this issue in both August as well as September.
The letter they sent this week reads:
“The complete lack of oversight is conspicuously surprising considering the Committee’s consistent and bipartisan engagement on Afghanistan — including your own — prior to the Biden Administration’s botched withdrawal.
“Rather than pursue transparency and accountability, Committee Democrats have remained idle. Meanwhile, the situation in Afghanistan and the region continues to worsen.”
August 31 marked the official withdrawal date for all troops from Afghanistan. The action officially ended the conflict, which lasted 20 years following the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The withdrawal was, to say the least, complete chaos. Not only was it carried out haphazardly and quickly, the lack of communication from the Biden administration to the military branches as well as the general public was poor as well.
Republicans have been especially critical of the whole ordeal. Eventually, the U.S. was able to evacuate more than 124,000 people from the country, and majority of those people were Afghan refugees.
Austin and Blinken are currently scheduled to appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations committee on February 2. Those closed-door briefings will discuss the United States’ overall policy regarding Afghanistan.
The House Oversight Committee held a hearing on December 7 of the National Security Subcommittee, at which the Afghanistan withdrawal and overall situation were discussed. That’s why a spokesperson for the committee recently responded to the letter the Republicans sent by saying:
“Chairs Maloney and [Massachusetts Representative Stephen Lynch] already held a public hearing that extensively covered the situation in Afghanistan just last month. Committee members on both sides of the aisle had the opportunity to question witnesses from the Department of Defense and the Department of State at both the public hearing and at a classified briefing that followed.”
It certainly sounds from that statement that the House Oversight Committee — led by the Democratic Party — is unlikely to agree to the request by the three Republican members of the panel.