Democrats said Pentagon’s input needed for full investigation into Afghanistan withdrawal
DNJ, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. expressed his disappointment that Secretary of Defense General Lloyd Austin did not accept the committee’s invitation to testify at hearings related to the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, and threatened to take action if he continued. not to cooperate.
In his opening remarks at the hearing in which Secretary of State Antony Blinken appeared, Menendez said Austin’s testimony is necessary so that the committee can fully investigate what happened in Afghanistan.
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“I am deeply disappointed that Secretary Austin declined our request to testify today,” Menendez said. “A full account of America’s response to this crisis is not complete without the Pentagon, especially when it comes to understanding the complete collapse of the US-trained and funded Afghan military.”
The senator went on to say that Austin’s decision not to appear before the committee “will affect my personal decision on Defense Department nominees.” Menendez then said that he hoped Austin would appear before the committee at a future occasion.
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“And if he doesn’t,” Menendez warned, “I may consider using the committee’s power of summons to compel him and others during these past 20 years to testify.”
A hearing titled “Examing the US Withdrawal from Afghanistan” took place on Tuesday, a day after a similar hearing by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Blinken was the only witness of the two.