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Two Years After Withdrawal, Rick Scott Calls on Congress to Create a Joint Select Committee on Afghanistan

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., weighed in this week to mark the second anniversary of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan and called for Congress to pass his proposal to create “a bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Afghanistan, composed of members of the House and Senate, to conduct a full investigation into President Biden’s failed and tragic withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan that stranded hundreds of Americans behind enemy lines, left billions of dollars in U.S. military equipment in the hands of terrorists and took the lives of 13 brave U.S. service members.”

Using the committee established to investigate the Iran-Contra affair as a model, Scott brought out the resolution in 2021 and reintroduced it in February.

This week, Scott urged Congress to pass his resolution.

“Two years after President Biden’s botched withdrawal that resulted in tragically losing 13 brave U.S. service members and abandoned Americans and billions of dollars of military equipment behind enemy lines, we still don’t have any accountability. Now, our enemies feel more emboldened after Biden’s failures took center stage for the whole world to see. The American people will never forget President Biden’s misguided and dangerous decisions that led to a deadly and chaotic withdrawal and I will not stop fighting to establish a bipartisan and bicameral Joint Select Committee on Afghanistan so that accountability can become a reality. I urge all of my colleagues to put partisan politics aside and demand answers,” Scott said.

Scott’s bill would have the committee “conduct an investigation into the United States’ withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan and report its findings to Congress including:

“An analysis of any actions taken by the United States Government to proactively prepare for a successful withdrawal and any efforts to protect the safety of United States forces and neutralize threats in any withdrawal scenarios, including all timelines and advice provided by military leaders to President Biden and his national security team beginning in January 2021.

“A summary of any intelligence reports that indicated an imminent threat at the Hamid Karzai International Airport preceding the deadly attack on August 26, 2021, and the risks to United States and allied country civilians as well as Afghan partners for various United States withdrawal scenarios.

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“A full and unredacted transcript of the phone call between President Biden and President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan on July 23, 2021.

“A description of the initial views and advice of the United States Armed Forces and the intelligence community given to the National Security Council and the White House before the decisions were taken regarding closure of United States military installations, withdrawal of United States assets, and withdrawal of United States military personnel.

“An assessment of United States assets, as well as any assets left behind by allies, that could now be used by the Taliban, ISIS-K, and other terrorist organizations operating within the region.

“An assessment of the discussions between the United States Government and allies supporting our efforts in Afghanistan and a timeline for decision making regarding the withdrawal of United States forces, Afghan allies and nationals and other refugees. This includes discussions on any efforts to work with U.S. allies to repatriate all foreign nationals desiring to return to their home countries, the vetting of each individual and any coordination the Departments of State and Defense engaged in to safeguard members of the Armed Forces from infectious diseases and terrorist threats.”

Scott introduced a similar proposal in October 2021 but it failed to gain much momentum in the Democratic-controlled Senate, something which is likely to happen again with that party in charge of the chamber.

The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee.



Author

  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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