While the country has been shocked by the news coming from Afghanistan since conditions in the capital city of Kabul collapsed over the weekend, members of Congress from both parties are starting the process of politicizing the crisis.
This week, several lawmakers have vowed to investigate why evacuations have been so botched and so much military equipment was abandoned to the Taliban.
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said this week that the withdrawal amounted to the horrifying result of failures over many years by intelligence agencies and policymakers.
He said that his committee would be scheduling hearings about the withdrawal, from the negotiations between the Trump administration and the Taliban to President Biden’s final execution of a withdrawal plan.
On Monday, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said that his committee would work with other committees to address how the U.S. was not prepared to handle the immediate collapse of the Afghan civil government’s U.S. trained national security forces.
On August 17, Republican House Armed Services Committee members sent a letter to the White House denouncing the Afghan security issue and informing the president directly that it might have been averted if they had done any planning. The Biden administration has yet made no public response to that letter.
A bipartisan group of 47 Senators led by Menendez and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has written to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas demanding that the administration take appropriate steps to protect Afghan women endangered by the chaotic withdrawal by the U.S.
The Senators urged the administration to streamline evacuating female Afghan security forces, journalists, translators, and others to the United States.
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), who served as a Marine in Iraq, anticipated lengthy hearings into the execution of withdrawal of forces. He said that all of them in Congress should be ashamed for failing to hold hearings and votes regarding continuing authorization for military operations in Afghanistan over the last two decades. He further stated that the Biden administration must act now to preserve innocent individuals in danger.