'No senior administration officials have been held accountable' for Afghanistan pullout: GOP

A new report from the House Foreign Affairs Committee GOP describes the failures and consequences of the Biden administration's handling of the 'tragic' withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Updated: August 18, 2022 - 12:46pm

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Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee have released their report on the U.S. military's final, problematic withdrawal last summer from Afghanistan that concludes no senior Biden administration officials have been "held accountable" for the "tragic" departure and warns the county has again become a safe haven for terrorists.

"The choices made in the corridors of power in D.C. led to tragic yet avoidable outcomes: 13 dead service members, American lives still at great risk, increased threats to our homeland security, tarnished standing abroad for years to come, and emboldened enemies across the globe," reads the 115-page interim report titled "A 'Strategic Failure:' Assessing the Administration's Afghanistan Withdrawal." 

"President Biden's own officials have described the end of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan as a 'strategic failure' and 'an ugly final phase,'" the report notes. "Yet, to date, no senior administration officials have been held accountable."

"Afghanistan has once again become a safe haven for terrorist entities," the report concludes.

"The unconditional military withdrawal and the simultaneous end of the American diplomatic presence in Kabul would leave the U.S. government without a counterterrorism partner in an Afghanistan now awash with militants and terrorists — many released from prison by the Taliban."

The terrorists who were released "now have the ability to train freely and to potentially access the over $7 billion of U.S. supplied weapons, ground vehicles, and aircraft they seized," according to the report.

The report describes several questions the committee's top Republican, Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, asked Secretary of State Tony Blinken during the course of the withdrawal and its aftermath.

"When pressed ... about the urgent need to evacuate Afghan allies, the secretary downplayed the situation on the ground," the report recounts, "saying the fall of the country wouldn't 'be something that happens from a Friday to a Monday. So, I wouldn't necessarily equate the departure of our forces in July, August, or by early September with some kind of immediate deterioration in the — in the situation.'"