GOP Lawmakers Call on Pentagon IG to Investigate Afghanistan Withdrawal

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Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles pictured at a military base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, August 21, 2020. (U.S. Army/Sergeant Jeffery J. Harris/Reuters)

A group of eleven House Republicans introduced a resolution on Tuesday demanding that the Pentagon Inspector General open an investigation into the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Representative Carlos Gimenez (R., Fla.) introduced the resolution, which calls on the Pentagon IG to investigate how the Taliban came to be in possession of U.S. equipment such as Humvees, helicopters, artillery, and drones. The resolution asks that the investigation also determine the extent to which Afghan forces with U.S. equipment entered Iran with the technology, as well as how effective the evacuation of U.S. citizens and allied personnel from Afghanistan has been.

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The Republican lawmakers requested that the report be presented to Congress within 90 days of the resolution’s passing.

“President Biden has made categorically false statements to the American people, including lies that the American embassy in Kabul was secured and prepared for the withdrawal, that there are no Al-Qaeda militants in Afghanistan, that America’s allies are not questioning the President’s judgments, and even changing readouts with our most important allies,” Gimenez said in a statement announcing the resolution. “These falsehoods, of course, are deliberately deceptive to the American people with both the mainstream press and the President’s own senior national security officials contradicting these claims.”

He continued: “If the President of the United States is not going to be straight with the American people, all while American lives are being left in Afghanistan at the mercy of the Taliban, then Congress has both the moral and constitutional obligation to demand accountability of any and all Biden Administration officials who deliberately put American lives at risk. I urge my colleagues to support this investigation.”

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Representative Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.), a co-sponsor of the resolution, similarly said an investigation into the withdrawal is “critical.”

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“The American people deserve answers about how and why the Biden Administration went forward with this approach when it was clear that the fallout would jeopardize the safety of Americans still in Afghanistan, endanger our Afghan partners who have fought alongside us for two decades, and threaten our broader national security interests,” Cheney said in a statement.

“This is a critical investigation and I urge my colleagues to support it so we can learn the truth about how this unfolded and ensure our country never makes such a catastrophic mistake again,” she added.

Biden has received criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike over the troop withdrawal, which has resulted in chaos for Americans and Afghans looking to evacuate Afghanistan in the wake of a Taliban takeover.

While the U.S. has evacuated close to 60,000 people from Afghanistan since August 14, U.S. troops are reportedly turning away some Afghans at the Kabul airport to give American citizens and green card holders priority, according to the New York Times.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that Biden, in a meeting with leaders of G7 nations, conveyed that the U.S. mission in Kabul will end “based on the achievement of our objectives,” and that “we are currently on pace to finish by August 31,” the president’s initial deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

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The president “also made clear that with each day of operations on the ground, we have added risk to our troops with increasing threats from ISIS-K, and that completion of the mission by August 31st depends on continued coordination with the Taliban,” Psaki said. “The President has asked the Pentagon and the State Department for contingency plans to adjust the timeline should that become necessary.”

A Taliban spokesman said Tuesday that the U.S. must withdraw all its forces from the country by the deadline with “no exceptions.”

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