“What we saw in Afghanistan was a systemic failure of the federal government that led to the chaos and horrific devastation,” McCaul said in a statement.
He added, “That resulted in the death of 13 American service members and the abandonment of American citizens, green card holders, and our Afghan partners in a country controlled by a brutal terrorist organization. While I appreciate the Secretary testifying before our committee yesterday, he once again provided us with little to no new information. It is time for Congress to use our Article I responsibility and begin a vigorous investigation into how this all went so badly.”
McCaul tapped Ryan Browne to lead the investigation. The statement notes Browne previously served as a CNN reporter tasked with covering international security issues from the Pentagon from 2015 to 2021. He also reported from countries, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq and Israel.
“Oversight is a critical function of Congress, and I look forward to putting together a comprehensive, independent and facts-driven investigation,” Browne said.
He continued, “It is crucial we discover what led to the chaos of the emergency evacuation, and examine the administration’s failed efforts to evacuate all American citizens, green card holders, local allies and other vulnerable Afghans fearing reprisals from the Taliban. I am honored to be selected by Lead Republican McCaul for this investigation.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken faced tough questioning about the administration’s handling of the withdrawal on Tuesday. According to The Washington Post, Blinken recognized officials did not expect the Taliban to declare victory so quickly.
“We repeatedly pressed the Afghan government … to consolidate its forces … not to extend itself across the entire country,” Blinken said. “Unfortunately that consolidation and the plan that we urged on them … never took shape.”
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