Rep. Florida’s Michael Waltz, the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Readiness on the House Armed Services Committee, spoke to DailyMail.com on Friday.
Nearly a year after the last US soldier left Afghanistan, a House Republican who served on the ground in the war-torn country is calling for a congressional committee to get to the bottom of the withdrawal of the Biden administration. Search.
Rep. Florida’s Michael Waltz, the first green beret to serve in Congress, told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview that he believes the White House and its Democratic allies have swept the controversial operation and its resulting fallout “under the rug.”
“I want a committee devoted to it. The exact location of that committee is still being discussed. But it has to have oversight — this is the part that I think is critical — it has to oversee the Defense Department, the intelligence community and the State Department,” Waltz said.
He said it was clear to him, as a member of the Armed Services Committee, that the Biden administration wants to move forward 12 months after receiving bipartisan criticism of the operation.
“I mean, that’s obvious. And I think the Democrats in Congress want it swept under the rug. I mean, we’ve seen, what, a hearing… the Armed Forces Commission, and then one at the State Department… it was decided it would be classified, so it was closed,” Waltz said. “I think it’s disgraceful and it’s — it’s inappropriate, and the families deserve better.”
Among those he is asking for are the relatives of 13 servicemen who died on August 26 last year when a suicide bomber set off an explosion outside Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Waltz accused the Biden administration of trying to sweep Afghanistan’s withdrawal and its consequences “under the rug” over the past 12 months
“No officials have been fired. Not one. No one is relieved. No one has resigned. No one has taken responsibility or responsibility. But I think the thing that really, you know they feel like it’s just a slap in the face is that Biden is standing in front of the world and saying this was an extraordinary success,” Waltz said of the families.
“It becomes their responsibility. It will certainly be my mission to start those investigations.’
And when Republicans take back the majority in the House of Representatives in November, the congressman vowed their investigation would go beyond the newly created Afghanistan War Commission.
The latest defense spending bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act, mandates the creation of a Congress-approved panel to study the 20 Years’ War in its entirety.
But Waltz joins a litany of his fellow Republicans who think it’s too broad.
“I could fill a warehouse with reports from think tanks and studies and commissions about what went wrong in the war,” he said. “We need a focused look at the withdrawal debacle.”
A committee to investigate the withdrawal attempt should oversee the State Department, the Pentagon and the intelligence community, Waltz said
He added that the committee’s December 2024 deadline for a final report seems “convenient” — just after the presidential election.
“It’s a classic Washington playbook. Form a committee, take a year to do it, you know, there’s not a report ready until three years after it’s formed, which, you know, puts it completely on the back burner,” Waltz said.
“These Gold Star families have been waiting for answers for over a year. Now we want them to wait three more? It’s insulting.’
In the meantime, Waltz demanded that the US stop sending aid dollars to the Taliban-controlled government of Afghanistan and called for continued relations with the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan.
The military veteran also suggested creating an “emergency plan” to take back Bagram airbase from the Taliban in the event of an imminent threat or “attack on the homeland.”
“It’s the commitment to preserving the assets in the Middle East that they’re going to have to do this in the long run,” Waltz said. “I can’t comment on it, but we’ve seen the opposite.”
President Biden released a statement Friday commemorating the 13 servicemen who died in the attack on the Kabul airport.
He commented on the 2,461 lives lost in the 20-year conflict and commemorated the bravery of those who served, but offered no insight into his view of the war.
DailyMail.com has contacted the White House for comment.