The Democrat chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee has called for an investigation into the Biden administration’s execution of a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan that led to the rapid collapse of that country’s government.
“Intelligence officials have anticipated for years that in the absence of the U.S. military the Taliban would continue to make gains in Afghanistan,” Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said late Monday in a public statement.
“That is exactly what has happened as the Afghan national security forces proved unable or unwilling to defend against Taliban advances in Kabul and across the country,” Warner said, adding that the Biden administration should answer “tough but necessary questions.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., called Sunday for a congressional investigation into the Biden administration’s handling of the exit from Afghanistan as the Taliban toppled the U.S.-backed government in a matter of days.
Warner’s call for a probe, however, signals potential bipartisan backing for congressional scrutiny.
Moreover, Warner is a Democrat with actual power to begin and shape an investigation as head of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
In his statement, Warner said:
As the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I hope to work with the other committees of jurisdiction to ask tough but necessary questions about why we weren’t better prepared for a worst-case scenario involving such a swift and total collapse of the Afghan government and security forces. We owe those answers to the American people and to all those who served and sacrificed so much.
In remarks Monday afternoon at the White House, Biden largely blamed the Trump administration and Afghan political and military leaders for the outcome, but also said he stands behind his decision to withdraw U.S. troops.
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