Comer/Grothman Claim Leaked Info Shows President Biden Failed To Prepare For Withdrawal

House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) and Subcommittee on National Security Ranking Member Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) called on top Biden Administration officials to provide all documents and communications related to the military and diplomatic withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Recent reporting about a White House internal document reveals the Biden Administration began evacuation plans for U.S. government employees, American citizens, and U.S. allied Afghans only hours before the Taliban took over Kabul.

“Based upon a recently released internal White House document, the Biden Administration was tragically unprepared for the Afghanistan withdrawal,” wrote the Republican lawmakers. “The Biden Administration had the warning signs that the Taliban were planning on seizing Kabul. Nevertheless, it appears the Biden Administration waited until August 14—one day before Kabul fell—to begin contingency planning. What ensued was a U.S. military withdrawal that has drawn apt comparison to the fall of Saigon. The longer-term consequences continue to unravel. Americans are still stranded in Afghanistan and our allies’ lives remain in danger. The country is facing widespread starvation as it slides into economic collapse. As Afghanistan fails, it risks further destabilizing the region.”

Prior to the Taliban taking control of Kabul, it had been engaged in a months-long offensive. Less than one month after President Biden announced the unconditional military withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban began their offensive in southwest Afghanistan in May 2021.

By the end of July, the Taliban controlled the majority of Afghanistan’s districts. Yet according to a White House meeting summary dated August 14, 2021, the Biden Administration appears to have started relocation plans for U.S. government employees, American citizens, and U.S. allied Afghans only hours before the Taliban took over Kabul, directly contradicting President Biden’s own public statements that the U.S. would withdraw “responsibly, deliberately, and safely,” and that the Biden Administration “planned for every contingency.” The Taliban seized control of Kabul, including Hamid Karzai International Airport, on August 15. 

“The Biden Administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was an unmitigated national security and humanitarian disaster. At least 13 American servicemen and women and hundreds of Afghan civilians were killed.

Thousands of American citizens were abandoned. Billions of dollars in U.S. military equipment were lost. Meanwhile, for the first time in two decades, Afghanistan is again under Taliban control. Al-Qaeda is resurgent. Women and girls are being oppressed. U.S. allied-Afghans are being hunted down and publicly murdered. Despite efforts to shift blame, the Biden Administration’s utter lack of preparation caused these outcomes,” continued the Republican lawmakers.

The letter can be found here.