A day after U.S. forces completed its troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, refugees board a bus taking them to a processing center upon their arrival at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, September 1, 2021.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
WASHINGTON — House Republicans on Friday called on the Biden administration to release information about the chaotic U.S. departure from Afghanistan.
In a series of letters sent to senior leadership at the Departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security and the U.S. Agency for International Development, GOP lawmakers requested all documents, communications, and information related to what they called the Biden administration’s “disastrous military and diplomatic withdrawal from Afghanistan.”
“U.S. servicemen and women lost their lives, Americans were abandoned, taxpayer dollars are unaccounted for, the Taliban gained access to military equipment, progress for Afghan women was derailed, and the entire area is now under hostile Taliban control,” wrote Republican Rep. James Comer of Kentucky and other key GOP representatives.
“The American people deserve answers and the Biden Administration’s ongoing obstruction of this investigation is unacceptable,” added Comer, the chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee.
The U.S. finished its withdrawal from the airport in Kabul on Aug. 31, 2021. The departure effectively ended a two-decade conflict that began shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Biden ordered the full withdrawal of approximately 3,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan in April 2021. At the time, he asked all American servicemembers to leave the war-weary country by Sept. 11 of that year. He later moved the deadline up to the end of August.
The U.S. launched its war in Afghanistan in October 2001, weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks. The Taliban at the time offered sanctuary to al-Qaeda, which planned and carried out the devastating terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
About 2,500 U.S. service members died in the conflict. It claimed the lives of more than 100,000 Afghan troops, police personnel and civilians.
The Taliban return to power
Taliban fighters patrol in Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021.
Rahmat Gul | AP
People who want to flee the country continue to wait around Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 25, 2021.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
In the final week of the withdrawal, terrorists from the group ISIS-K killed 13 U.S. service members and dozens of Afghans in an attack outside the airport. U.S. forces launched strikes to try to thwart other attacks.
Biden and first lady Jill Biden traveled to Dover Air Force Base to meet privately with the families of the fallen U.S. service members before they watched the dignified transfer of American flag-draped caskets from a C-17 military cargo plane to a vehicle. The process takes place for every U.S. servicemember killed in action.
It marked Biden’s first time attending a dignified transfer since he became president.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.
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