Republican members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee have disclosed the findings of their inquiry into the Biden administration’s evacuation from Afghanistan last year, pulling no punches in their report.
According to the report only 36 State Department officials were on the ground at Kabul airport to process Afghans attempting to flee the country, at the height of the US evacuation effort when thousands were packed in the airport buildings.
The report says this number meant there was “roughly one consular officer for every 3,444 evacuees”, and is one of several previously undisclosed details outlined in the highly critical report.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans’ report reveals additional details about failures by the Biden administration’s to adequately plan for and execute the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. The report also claims that the administration failed to accurately portray the nature of events as they unfolded.
“A lot of the Biden administration’s evacuation plans were done in the spring 2021, some even before the president announced the withdrawal. And they were never updated despite the Taliban battlefield gains, despite the deteriorating security situation, and despite the revised intelligence assessments,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Both the State Department and the Pentagon have conducted their own reviews of the withdrawal, but neither have as yet released any findings. The Pentagon’s review is still ongoing while the State Department concluded theirs in March but have not said when their findings will be made public.