State Department watchdog launches investigations into end of U.S. operations in Afghanistan

The Office of the Inspector General notified top congressional committees of the opening of the probes

Updated: October 19, 2021 - 9:58am

The State Department inspector general is launching multiple investigations on the Biden administration's military withdrawal in August from Afghanistan.

The department watchdog's investigations will focus on the country's Special Immigrant Visa program, the emergency evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, and Afghans who have been resettled into the U.S. 

The inspector general for the Pentagon also has at least three reviews underway on the evacuation in which 13 U.S. service members were killed in a suicide bomb attack.

The Pentagon investigations include an evaluation of the drone strike in Kabul that mistakenly killed 10 Afghan civilians, a review of the Defense Department's screening process for displaced Afghans, and an audit of the department's support programs fro the relocation of Afghan nationals. 

The department's acting inspector general, Diana Shaw, informed Congress on Monday of her investigatory intentions.

In a letter to the chairmen of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as the intelligence committees in both chambers, Shaw wrote, "Given the elevated interest in this work by Congress and the unique circumstances requiring coordination across the Inspector General community, I wanted to notify our committees of jurisdiction of this important work."

Democrat-led congressional committees also have started reviews of various facets of the Afghan withdrawal, which has been subject to sharp bipartisan criticism.