Biden’s Poll Numbers Drop; Hearing Called For Afghanistan Withdrawal

Photo Credit: LBJ Library photo by Jay Godwin / Public Domain

The Center Square [By Casey Harper] and The Tennessee Conservative –

After the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan left dozens of casualties, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle want answers on what went wrong.

U.S. Capitol Building At Night

The Senate Armed Services Committee announced Thursday it will hold a hearing Sept. 28 on the withdrawal with top officials testifying.

“Although we have completed the withdrawal of American military personnel and over 100,000 civilians from Afghanistan, I remain deeply concerned about the events that accompanied our withdrawal and the ongoing humanitarian crisis,” Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I, who chairs the committee, said. “It is the duty of Congress – and the Senate Armed Services Committee in particular – to hold hearings to learn lessons from the situation in Afghanistan and ensure accountability at the highest levels. The Committee will hold a series of hearings to examine the factors and decisions that manifested over four presidential administrations of both political parties to shape the outcome we now face in Afghanistan.”

Biden has received criticism for hundreds of Americans left behind, though the true number is unclear. He has also taken fire for billions of dollars in military equipment that was left behind, some of which is expected to have fallen into the Taliban’s hands.

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., of the Republican Study Committee, estimated that $85 billion of military equipment was left behind, though other estimates have been lower.

Biden has defended his decision, saying that ending the war would have to be costly, but not as costly as continuing it.

“I refused to send another generation of America’s sons and daughters to fight a war that should have ended long ago,” Biden said in his speech from the White House last month where he declared an end to the war in Afghanisan.

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The committee said testimony will be heard from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, General Mark Milley, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Kenneth McKenzie, who serves as Commander of U.S. Central Command.

“I’m grateful to Chairman Reed for prioritizing these critical oversight hearings on Afghanistan – the first of what I will expect to be many hearings and briefings to review and determine what happened, who should be held accountable, and how we move forward,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. “The American people, our service members past and present, our allies and partners around the world and the Afghans who bravely helped us deserve this transparency and accountability.”

Earlier this week, U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) along with 8 of their committee colleagues calling on the Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman Jack Reed (D-R.I.) to exercise the committee’s authority by holding hearings on the chaotic U.S. withdrawal.  

Specifically, the senators requested sworn testimony from senior military leaders including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, Commander of U.S. Central Command General Frank McKenzie, Jr., and the final commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, General A. Scott Miller. 

  “The American people, and in particular many of those who serve our country in uniform, are hurting, angry, and disappointed. We owe them a clear and comprehensive understanding of what happened, why, and how best to learn from these events for the future.” 

 “We owe it to our nation, those who served, their families, and our allies and partners who fought alongside us, to preserve the records of how our fight in Afghanistan concluded. The insights we gather will help prevent future loss of American blood and treasure, a solemn responsibility and sacred trust we believe all members of our committee will seek to uphold,” the senators wrote. 

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) also signed onto the letter. 

Read the full letter HERE.

The issue has been a thorn in the side of the Biden administration. The president’s approval rating has steadily dropped as the difficulties of the withdrawal took center stage.

The latest Economist/YouGov poll found Biden’s approval had dropped to an all-time low since he became president, with 39% of Americans approving of his performance and 49% disapproving.

“The drop in Biden’s approval rating is most severe among Democrats,” the poll reports. “Around nine in ten of them had approved of Biden’s performance for nearly all of his first year in office. This week, Biden’s approval rating among Democrats dropped nine points to 77% from 86% last week.”

Both COVID-19 and Afghanistan are leading issues of concern for Americans.

“Twice before, during the pullout from Afghanistan, as many people disapproved as approved, but this is the first time in his first-year presidency that Biden’s ratings are negative,” the poll said.

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About the Author: Casey Harper, The Center Square D.C. Bureau Reporter – charper@centersquare.com ~ Harper is a Senior Reporter for the Washington, D.C. Bureau. He previously worked for The Daily Caller, The Hill, and Sinclair Broadcast Group. A graduate of Hillsdale College, Casey’s work has also appeared in Fox News, Fox Business, and USA Today.

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