Senate Republicans seek testimony from top Pentagon leaders, more on Afghanistan
A group of Republicans in the US Senate want more information, including testimony from senior Pentagon officials, as they attempt to piece together what led to the chaotic troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, citing the need for “transparency, frankness and a commitment to establishing facts unrelated to politics. “
“We owe it to our nation, to those who served, to their families and to our allies and partners who fought alongside us, to preserve the records of the conclusion of our fight in Afghanistan,” the group wrote. by Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama. a letter Wednesday to Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee. “The information we collect will help prevent future loss of American blood and treasures, a solemn responsibility and sacred trust that we believe all members of our committee will seek to uphold.”
Reed’s office did not immediately respond to News weekrequest for comments on the letter.
Tuberville – joined by Republican Senators Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Rick Scott of Florida, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Josh Hawley of Missouri – specifically requested sworn testimony from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, Gen. Frank McKenzie, Chief of Command Central United States and General A. Scott Miller, who oversaw the war effort for nearly three years before stepping down from the command post in July as the war drew to a close.
The Pentagon responded to News week with an email noting that Austin is currently traveling to the Middle East but is not responding directly to senators’ request for testimony. Austin held meetings in Kuwait on Wednesday.
President Joe Biden and his administration, including top military officials, have championed the decision to end the longest war in American history before the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks that sparked it.
At a grim press briefing last week, Austin told reporters the military will review the end of the war and learn from it.
“There has never been a single operation that I have been involved in where we did not find out that there was something we could have done better or more efficiently or more effectively,” he said. he declares.
In addition to testimony from Pentagon leaders, Republican senators are calling for open and closed hearings on Afghanistan and urging Congress to pressure the Defense Department to keep all records related to withdrawal from war.
Since the Taliban toppled the Afghan government that forced the emergency evacuation of thousands of Americans and Afghan allies, several Democrats have called for a more comprehensive review of the entire two-decade war, rather than to focus on his end.
Last week, 26 Senate Republicans wrote a letter to the White House asking for answers to a series of questions about Americans and their allies who were unable to evacuate before the US forces left.
“The signatories of this letter may have differing opinions on whether the United States should have maintained a military presence in Afghanistan, but we all agree that the arbitrary and ill-planned method by which you withdrew from Afghanistan caused this crisis, “wrote the senators. , looking for information by Tuesday this week.
A spokesperson for Tuberville, who was also among the senators who also signed the letter, said News week they had not received a response from the White House on Wednesday afternoon.
Read the full letter here.