Rep. Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulBlinken grilled in first hearing since Afghanistan withdrawal Sunday shows preview: Biden issues new vaccine mandates; House committee marks up .5T reconciliation bill Defense & National Security: The post-airlift evacuation struggle MORE (R-Texas) has hired a former CNN journalist to serve as an investigator for the House Foreign Affairs Committee as it probes President BidenJoe BidenBiden stumps for Newsom on eve of recall: ‘The eyes of the nation are on California’ Biden looks to climate to sell economic agenda Family of American held hostage by Taliban urges administration to fire Afghanistan peace negotiator MORE‘s withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan this summer.
The journalist, Ryan Browne, has worked for CNN since 2015 covering the Pentagon and international security matters. He has reported from countries across the Middle East and was embedded as a contractor adviser to the Afghan National Army from 2011 to 2013 before joining CNN.
“I look forward to putting together a comprehensive, independent and facts-driven investigation,” Browne said in a statement issued through McCaul’s office.
“It is crucial we discover what led to the chaos of the emergency evacuation, and examine the administration’s failed efforts to evacuate all American citizens, green card holders, local allies and other vulnerable Afghans fearing reprisals from the Taliban,” he added.
McCaul and other Republicans grilled Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenOvernight Defense & National Security — Congress begins Afghanistan grilling Blinken grilled in first hearing since Afghanistan withdrawal US sending M in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan MORE on Monday about the troop withdrawal. McCaul, the top Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee, said he appreciated Blinken testifying but added the secretary “once again provided us with little to no new information.”
“What we saw in Afghanistan was a systemic failure of the federal government that led to the chaos and horrific devastation,” McCaul said in the statement. “That resulted in the death of 13 American service members and the abandonment of American citizens, green card holders, and our Afghan partners in a country controlled by a brutal terrorist organization.”
Blinken defended the Biden administration’s response, including its failure to predict how quickly the Taliban would overtake the county after the U.S. withdrawal.
“Nothing I or anyone else saw indicated a collapse of the government and the security forces in 11 days,” Blinken told lawmakers. “This unfolded more quickly than we anticipated, including in the intelligence community.”