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Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal described as ‘gutting’ during hearing

Mar 8

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The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing examining the Biden administration’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The witnesses painted a dreadful picture of the operation and its aftermath.

“This whole thing has been a gutting experience. I never imagined I would witness the kind of gross abandonment, followed by career-preserving silence of senior leaders, military and civilian,” Lt. Col. David Scott Mann (Ret.) said.

There are approximately 775,000 Afghan war veterans. According to a survey, 73% of them feel betrayed by the withdrawal and 67% feel humiliated. Those who were there say they still suffer from what they experienced — including mothers carrying dead babies, the Taliban beating people, and people running for their lives.

“I think we’re on the front end of a mental health tsunami,” Lt. Col. Mann said. “Calls to the VA hotline have spiked 81% in the first year since the Afghan withdrawal and they keep coming.”

U.S. Army Specialist Aidan Gunderson described the moment an ISIS suicide bomber detonated explosives that killed 13 U.S. service members, injured dozens more, and killed at least 170 Afghans.

“Over the next hour, I tried to save the lives of countless Marines. We all tried our best. It was a nightmare. An injured Marine with blood-soaked pants squeezed my hand as tightly as he could and looked into my eyes yelling, ‘I don’t want to die,’” Gunderson said.

To add to the tragedy, Marine Corps. Sergeant Tyler Vargas-Andrews testified that his sniper team had the suicide bomber in its scopes and was prepared to fire. But his commanding officer did not have the authority to give the green light and didn’t know who did.

“We had them clear as day to be able to see through our scope with ease of fire on both individuals,” Sgt. Vargas-Andrews stated.  

“So you had him,” Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said.

“We did,” Vargas-Andrews answered.

While the hearing was focused on the Biden administration’s withdrawal, Democrats did not want it to become hyper-partisan and said multiple administrations made mistakes.

“It wasn’t President Biden who set an absolute withdrawal date, it was President Trump. And everything unraveled from that. President Biden inherited that,” Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., said.

During the hearing, both lawmakers and witnesses said too many Afghan allies were left behind, including interpreters and members of the Afghan military who served alongside U.S. troops. Members of Congress and veterans are actively trying to find ways to bring them to safety in the United States.

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The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing examining the Biden Administration’s withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. The witnesses painted a dreadful picture of the operation, and its aftermath. 

Lt. Col. David Scott Mann (Ret.) This whole thing has been a gutting experience. I never imagined I would witness the kind of gross abandonment, followed by career preserving silence of senior leaders, military and civilian. 

 

There are approximately 775,000 Afghan war veterans. According to a survey – 73% of them feel betrayed by the withdrawal, 67% feel humiliated. Those who were there say they still suffer from what they experienced. 

 

Gunderson: “Mothers carrying dead babies, the Taliban mercilessly beating people, and people running for their lives.” 

 

U.S. Army Specialist Aidan Gunderson described the moment an ISIS suicide bomber detonated explosives that killed 13 U.S. service members, injured dozens more, and killed atleast 170 Afghans.  

 

Gunderson: “Over the next hour, I tried to save the lives of countless marines. We all tried our best. It was a nightmare. An injured marine with blood-soaked pants squeezed my hand as tightly as he could and looked into my eyes yelling I don’t want to die.” 

 

To add to the tragedy, Marine Corps. Sergeant Tyler Vargas-Andrews testified that his sniper team had the suicide bomber in their scopes and were prepared to fire. But his commanding officer did not have the authority to give the green light, and didn’t know who did. 

 

Vargas-Andrews: “We had eyes on these two individuals that fit the exact description that we were given clear as day evidence through our spotting scope with ease of fire on both individuals.” 

McCaul: “So you had him.” 

Vargas – “We did.” 

 

But while the hearing was focused on the Biden administration’s withdrawal, Democrats did not want it to become hyper partisan and said multiple administrations made mistakes. 

 

Connolly: “It wasn’t President Biden who set an absolute withdrawal date, it was President Trump. And everything unraveled from that. President Biden inherited that.” 

 

During the hearing, both lawmakers and witnesses said there were too many Afghan allies who were left behind, and they must find a way to bring them to safety here in the United States. Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan. 


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