Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Says He Has No Regrets on Afghanistan, Admits No One Has Been Held Accountable

U.S. House Armed Services Committee

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told House lawmakers during a hearing Wednesday he has “no regrets” on the disastrous and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan.

House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel Chair Jim Banks (R-IN) asked Austin, “Do you have regrets about the withdrawal from Afghanistan?”

Austin said, “I support the president’s decision.”

Banks asked again, “Do you have regrets about the withdrawal or how the withdrawal occurred from Afghanistan that cost the lives of 13 of our service members?”

“I don’t have any regrets,” he said.

Banks then asked Austin if there has been any accountability for anyone within the Department of Defense for the “deadly, botched, and embarrassing” withdrawal.

Austin responded, “Our troops evacuated 124,000 people off that airfield.”

Banks pressed, “Has anyone been held accountable? If a Navy captain grounded a ship, what happens immediately?”

“Typically that captain is removed,” Austin admitted.

“That captain is removed,” Banks echoed. “Has anyone been held accountable for what happened in Afghanistan?”

Austin said, “To my knowledge, no.”

Banks concluded: “No, you don’t regret it. No one’s ever been held accountable. Mr. Chairman, this is why this Republican majority must provide the accountability that this administration wants to sweep under the rug with what happened in Afghanistan.”

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