When asked if he had any “regrets” about how the US military ended its war in Afghanistan in August 2021, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he did not.
On Wednesday, the secretary and two other military officials were asked about the removal while speaking before the House Armed Services Committee about the president’s proposed defense budget for 2024.
When asked if he had any regrets about the withdrawal, Austin said, “I support the president’s decision.” When Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) brought up the bombing that killed 13 American service members in the last weeks of the occupation, Austin added, “I don’t have any regrets.”
On the night before the 20th anniversary of the attacks that started the war, President Joe Biden announced that U.S. troops would leave Afghanistan on September 11, 2021. But in August, the Taliban started a military attack. They quickly took over a lot of lands and ended up toppling the Ghani government, which the US had been supporting.
Beginning in the middle of August, US troops withdrew about 120,000 people from Hamid Karzai International Airport. However, thousands of friends were left behind to live in fear of the Taliban.
On August 26, a suicide bomber from ISIS-K got into the HKAI meeting and blew himself up. He killed 13 service members and about 170 Afghans.
When asked if anyone in the Department of Defense had been blamed for the “deadly, botched, and embarrassing” departure, Austin said, “Our troops got 124,000 people off that airfield.”
Whoever caused the disaster in Afghanistan has been punished? When asked again if Austin was involved, the assistant answered, “Not that I know of.”
U.S. Gen. Frank McKenzie, who had been in charge of the army before, quit last week. The head of Central Command, who oversaw the pullout, recently told the Washington Examiner that he wants Congress to keep an eye on the war.
Well, he said, “I hope that” and, “I think it’s a good thing.” “I think oversight is good and necessary, so I think it’s great that we’re doing this. I think that’s what the Congress does. I’d like to see them do a few things as they do this oversight. First, I’d like to see them look at the whole war, which lasted more than 20 years and was fought by more than one president.
Several House committees have asked the Biden administration for papers about the departure.
This week, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) called on Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He asked for a copy of a letter from July 13, 2021, that was signed by more than a dozen American officials and said that members of the embassy in Kabul were unhappy with how Afghanistan’s exit was being planned.
We have tried many times in an honest way to find a way to share this important piece of information. McCaul said in a statement, “As chairman of this committee, I have issued my first subpoena because Secretary Blinken has refused to give me the Dissent Cable and his response to the cable.”
McKenzie and his deputy, General Michael “Erik” Kurilla, have both told lawmakers that it might be hard, if not impossible, for the United States to fight terrorism from afar after pulling out of Afghanistan.
Two weeks ago, Kurilla told the Senate Armed Services Committee that, according to the spy agency, ISIS-K could attack the United States without warning, even on American land, within six months.
My leader thinks they can attack U.S. or Western targets overseas in less than six months with little or no notice,” he said. “It’s much harder for them to do that against their own country.”