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Risch on Biden Administration’s Continued Refusal to Provide Fulsome Answers on Afghanistan

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement on the Biden Administration’s refusal to fully answer questions regarding the withdrawal from Afghanistan and evacuation efforts since August:

“While I appreciate that Secretary Austin finally came to the Hill to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations and Senate Armed Services Committees after five months of delay, many of his and Secretary Blinken’s answers gloss over the mistakes that were made and the lessons that need to be learned. These lessons have implications for the challenges we face right now in Afghanistan and in other parts of the world where American credibility is being questioned. Their over-the-horizon counterterrorism strategy only raises more questions about how they are protecting U.S. interests and citizens.    

“Also, it is clear there were warnings about the Taliban’s takeover of the country. They had four months to plan, but the Biden Administration neglected to plan for the likely contingencies that could occur. Secretaries Blinken and Austin committed to testifying in public, and I look forward to hearing them more fully explain to the American people exactly what happened and how they are changing policies at the State Department and Department of Defense to ensure this never happens again.”