Diana Shaw, acting inspector general for the State Department, has launched a series of investigations into President Joe Biden’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal.
Several sources as well as documents confirmed to Politco about the launched investigation.
An action memorandum sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on October 15 indicated that the probe will focus on:
State Department’s Special Immigrant Visa program; Afghans processed for refugee admission into the U.S.; resettlement of those refugees and visa recipients; and the emergency evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul ‘to include evacuation of U.S. citizens and Afghan nationals.’
In a letter sent on Monday, Shaw notified leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee of the investigation, describing them as “several oversight projects.”
“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,” Shaw wrote.
As Politico noted, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee as well as several other congressional panels have already launched investigations into the botched pullout from Afghanistan. Other inspector general offices will launch their own investigations as well. Per Politico:
Other inspectors general offices, including those at the Defense Department and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, are likely to also probe the events, which many critics argue was partly the result of a failure to properly coordinate among multiple departments and agencies in the weeks and months after President Joe Biden ordered a full withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country.
The Pentagon’s IG recently announced three reviews related to the evacuation: an evaluation of the botched drone strike in Kabul that killed 10 civilians instead of the Islamic State target; a review of DoD’s screening process for displaced Afghans; and an audit of DoD support for the relocation of Afghan nationals.
State OIG spokesperson Ryan Holden dismissed labeling the probes “investigations.” Hold told Politico:
State OIG notified its committees of jurisdiction today of planned projects in the areas you mention. This work will be conducted in coordination with other members of the IG community. However, it is inaccurate to say that these projects are investigations. We indicated to Congress that these projects will be reviews.
Speaking with 60 Minutes on Sunday, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates admitted that President Biden made a “mistake” when withdrawing from Afghanistan, leaving an untold amount of American citizens and allies behind.