Rep. Michael McCaul hires investigator for Afghanistan withdrawal

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Rep. Michael McCaul hires investigator for Afghanistan withdrawal

Rep. Michael McCaul announced on Tuesday he has hired former CNN reporter Ryan Browne to investigate the Biden Administration’s botched troop withdrawal from Afghanistan that preceded the rapid fall of the Afghan government to the Taliban. 

The news of Browne’s hiring comes one day after Republicans expressed their dissatisfaction with Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the turbulent exit. 

“What we saw in Afghanistan was a systemic failure of the federal government that led to the chaos and horrific devastation. 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,” McCaul said in a statement.  

“While I appreciate the Secretary testifying before our committee yesterday, he once again provided us with little to no new information. It is time for Congress to use our Article I responsibility and begin a vigorous investigation into how this all went so badly.”

Several Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee did not find Secretary of State Antony Blinken's answers on the Afghanistan withdrawal satisfactory.
Several Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee did not find Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s answers on the Afghanistan withdrawal satisfactory.
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
British and American security forces maintain order amongst the Afghan evacuees waiting to leave, in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 25, 2021.
British and American security forces maintain order amongst the Afghan evacuees waiting to leave, in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 25, 2021.
MARCUS YAM/LOS ANGELES TIMES/Shutterstock

Browne, a graduate of Harvard University with a masters from Columbia University, has covered international security issues abroad and from the pentagon for CNN since 2015 and was previously embedded as a contractor adviser to the Afghan National Army from 2011 to 2013. 

Prior to that he served as the director of international security studies for the Center for the Study of the President and Congress, where he conducted multiple studies looking into NATO’s role in Afghanistan. 

“Oversight is a critical function of Congress, and I look forward to putting together a comprehensive, independent and facts-driven investigation,” Browne said in a statement.

Rep. Michael McCaul called on the committee to use their power to hire a third-party investigator to look into the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal.
Rep. Michael McCaul called on the committee to use their power to hire a third-party investigator to look into the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal.
U.S. Marine Corps/Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla/Handout via REUTERS

“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. I am honored to be selected by Lead Republican McCaul for this investigation.”

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