Senate Republicans Demand Hearing on Afghanistan, Sworn Testimony from Military Leaders

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 17: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley talk before the start of the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on "A Review of the FY2022 Department of Defense Budget Request' on June 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. …
Caroline Brehman-Pool/Getty Images

A group of ten Senate Republicans sent a letter to Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) demanding a hearing on the “chaotic” military withdrawal from Afghanistan, including sworn testimony from senior military leaders.

The ten senators specifically want to see Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, and Commander of U.S. Central Command General Frank McKenzie testify under oath.

“It is necessary and appropriate for Congress to examine the manner in which our military mission ended in Afghanistan,” the group of senators wrote. “We should do so with transparency, candor, and dedication to ascertaining the facts without regard to politics.” They added:

The American people, and in particular many of those who serve our country in uniform, are hurting, angry, and disappointed. We owe them a clear and comprehensive understanding of what happened, why, and how best to learn from these events for the future.

They further explained that “We owe it to our nation, those who served, their families, and our allies and partners who fought alongside us, to preserve the records of how our fight in Afghanistan concluded.”

They believe that the testimony from the senior military officials “will help prevent future loss of American blood and treasure, a solemn responsibility and sacred trust we believe all members of our committee will seek to uphold.”

The letter was signed by Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

President Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal ended in the death of 13 U.S. servicemembers, wounding many more, and there are reports of hundreds of Americans still stranded in the county.

A Real Clear Politics report Wednesday claimed that there are six planes that are still being blocked by the Taliban and are not able to leave. Military veterans and NGO groups involved have been pressing the State Department for help.

Meanwhile, the report claimed there are 143 Americans waiting to depart. 

Follow Jacob Bliss on Twitter @jacobmbliss.


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