Biden defense secretary has 'no regrets' over withdrawal from Afghanistan

 March 30, 2023

Horrifying scenes emerged in August of 2021 when President Joe Biden's botched pullout from Afghanistan culminated with a suicide bombing that claimed the lives of 13 American service personnel and nearly 200 Afghans.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was asked about the tragedy during an appearance on Capitol Hill this week. Yet rather than show contrition, the Biden administration official doubled down.

"I don't have any regrets"

According to the Washington Examiner, Austin's comments came while testifying before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.

The defense secretary was at one point asked by Indiana Republican Rep. Jim Banks if he has any regrets regarding the withdrawal.

He responded by saying, "I support the president’s decision." When Banks pointed to the 13 dead service members, Austin remained adamant, insisting, "I don’t have any regrets."

Austin admits that thus far no one has been held accountable

Austin was also asked if anyone was ever held accountable for what happened during the course of the "deadly, botched, and embarrassing" withdrawal.

Austin first attempted to dodge the issue, answering, "Our troops evacuated 124,000 people off that airfield." When asked again he replied, "To my knowledge, no."

House Republicans aren't the only ones who say that some kind of congressional review of what happened during the pullout from Afghanistan.

Retired Army Gen. Frank McKenzie oversaw the mission, and he told the Examiner last week that more oversight from Congress would be "a good thing."

Withdrawal commander says he welcomes congressional oversight

"I think oversight is a good and necessary thing. So I think it's commendable that we're doing this," McKenzie was quoted as saying.

"I think that that's the function that the Congress provides," the former head of U.S. Central Command continued, adding, "I would hope that as they execute this oversight, they will do several things.

"First, they will examine the totality of the war, which lasted over 20 years and involved multiple administrations," McKenzie pointed out. "They will examine all of the agencies of the executive branch that participated in these operations over this 20-year period. Then, I hope they would also examine their own responsibilities over the 20-year period."

"I think you should start at the very beginning. I think you should look at decisions that were made when we first went into Afghanistan, should go back to the Bonn conference, should do a variety of things," he insisted.

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