Bipartisan split reignited over Biden Afghanistan withdrawal decision
House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, a Republican, calls the withdrawal "a stunning, stunning failure of leadership by the Biden administration."
The US House held on Wednesday its first hearing to review President Biden's decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan in August 2021. The hearing showed a gap between the Republicans and Democrats regarding their evaluation of Biden's decision.
"What happened in Afghanistan was a systemic breakdown of the federal government at every level - and a stunning, stunning failure of leadership by the Biden administration," House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Republican Michael McCaul said during the hearing.
He continues to accuse Biden's administration of breaching its obligation to protect US citizens since over a thousand Americans were left behind in the said situation.
Read more: McCaul launches investigation into Afghanistan pullout decision
Top Democrat in the committee Gregory Meeks, from his side, supported Biden’s decision to return US soldiers from Afghanistan, making no mention of how hasty it was.
"I cannot in good conscience imagine sending more American men and women to fight in Afghanistan," he said.
All witnesses, which included active and retired US military officers and activists, recounted their memories related to Afghanistan and evacuation from it, and in some cases, tears were wept, with the hearing described as emotional.
"Our veterans know something else that this committee might do well to consider: We might be done with Afghanistan, but it's not done with us," said retired Lt. Col. David Scott Mann.
Mann had completed three military missions to Afghanistan and called decision-makers to take veterans' opinions when making the decision. Otherwise, this "colossal foreign policy failure" will follow Americans home, he added.
Back in August 2021, the US withdrew its troops from Afghanistan, after 20 years of occupation, as the Taliban took over the country.
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