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Two Years Ago, Biden’s Disastrous Afghanistan Withdrawal Caused the Tragic Loss of 13 Servicemembers & Emboldened Our Adversaries

  • On Afghanistan Withdrawal
Two years ago, President Biden’s catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan led to the deadliest attack on Americans in Afghanistan since 2011, killing 13 of our brave Servicemembers and wounding many others. President Biden left hundreds of Americans and BILLIONS of dollars of U.S. military equipment stranded behind enemy lines. 
In the House Republican Majority, we made a commitment to A Government That’s Accountable. So far, House Republicans have held four oversight hearings, sent at least 15 letters, and issued two subpoenas for documents to uncover President Biden’s failure to plan and refusal to take responsibility for the chaotic withdrawal and tragic and preventable loss of life.

  • The House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) under Chairman McCaul and Oversight and Accountability Subcommittee Chairman Mast has persistently pursued transparency from the Biden Administration.
    • Chairman McCaul has sent at least 10 letters requesting documents related to the Afghanistan withdrawal while the Department of State has been dragging its feet to hide the Biden Administrations' failures. 
    • McCaul successfully subpoenaed the Afghanistan Dissent Channel Cable for HFAC Members' view. The cable was sent by State Department Embassy Kabul employees outlining concerns about withdrawing prior to the collapse. 
    • McCaul also successfully pushed the Administration to publicly release the After-Action Review which outlined the Administration's failure to plan for the withdrawal. 
  • Under Subcommittee Chairman Mast, Congressional testimony has revealed that the Biden Administration ignored warnings from senior military leaders about withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and ignored recommendations to conduct the evacuation from the more secure Bagram Air Base.
  • The Biden Administration continued to attempt to conceal its culpability by releasing the long requested After-Action Review (AAR) on a Friday afternoon before the 2023 July 4th holiday weekend.
    • This AAR clearly detailed the Administration’s failure in planning the military withdrawal and failure to anticipate the ensuring chaos.
    • “There was insufficient senior-level consideration of worst-case scenarios and how quickly those might follow.”
  • Representative Darrell Issa recently held a gathering of the family members of all thirteen Gold Star families to listen to their heartbreaking testimony of how the Afghanistan withdrawal radically altered their lives and how the Biden Administration failed to protect their loved ones. 
  • On July 8th, 2021, Joe Biden said: “There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy of the United States from Afghanistan.” 
    • In fact, it was actually much worse. We saw videos of Afghans clinging to the outside of planes during takeoff, with many falling to their deaths.
    • Afghans who were turned away threw themselves on razor wire surrounding the airport rather than face torture at the hands of the Taliban, according to firsthand testimony.
  • More than 800 Americans were abandoned behind enemy lines in Afghanistan for months.
    • The administration admitted initially that they did not know how many Americans remained in Afghanistan.
  • President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan led to OVER $7 BILLION in U.S. military equipment is now in the hands of the Taliban.
  • The deadliest attack on Americans in Afghanistan since August 2011 occurred because of Biden’s failed leadership.
    • On August 26, 2021, a suicide bomber denotated explosives at the Abbey Gate to the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing thirteen U.S. servicemembers.
      • Witness testimony before a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing under Chairman McCaul reported that the troops stationed at Abbey Gate were aware of the threat, had identified the suspected bomber hours before the blast, and were stopped from taking action. 
      • When his team asked for permission to engage, the battalion commander said, “I don’t know.” "Plain and simple, we were ignored," Sgt. Vargas-Andrews testified. "Our expertise was disregarded. No one was held accountable for our safety."
      • Sgt. Vargas-Andrews stated that he was never approached to submit, or be interviewed for, a post-incident report.
  • Terrorists are now emboldened to attack Americans with reports indicating that Biden’s catastrophic failure in leadership emboldened our adversaries in the region.
  • Biden is the one who decided to pull out U.S. forces by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
  • Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was NOT conditions-based.
    • The conditions of President Trump’s agreement were continuously violated by the Taliban and the Biden administration did not hold them accountable.
    • The Biden administration had been warned that the Taliban would stop at nothing until they retook the country. Now, the Taliban is back and the United States is less safe.
  • The decision by the Biden Administration to abandon Bagram Air Base early and leave only a few hundred troops at Hamid Karzai International Airport opened the door to the Taliban’s rapid takeover.
    • Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs John Kirby joined CNN where he ADMITTED the Administration had NO PLAN to help Americans get out of Afghanistan.
    • Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki refused to admit that Americans were stranded in Afghanistan, despite an abundance of evidence to the contrary.
MAKE NO MISTAKE: President Biden’s catastrophic failure in leadership is to blame for the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. House Republicans will leave no stone unturned in our continued effort to provide oversight on this deadly withdrawal and honor the 13 brave service members who lost their lives serving our country.