US Congress to view classified Afghanistan withdrawal cables

The US House of Representatives committee will be able to view a classified cable related to the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021 that led to the takeover of the country by the Taliban.

In May, only two top members of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee were allowed to view a redacted version of a classified cable sought by the committee’s Republican chairperson Michael McCaul, Reuters reported earlier.

Now all members of the committee, comprised of 51 members, would be allowed to view the Afghanistan cable after McCaul secured an agreement with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the committee told Reuters Monday.

The committee said, “McCaul agreed that would be a satisfactory accommodation to the subpoena he sent Blinken earlier this year, and would take a possible contempt charge off the table.”

McCaul had launched an investigation into the US withdrawal from Afghanistan several months ago indicating that members of the congress were not granted access to view a full accounting of the chaotic operation, in which 13 U.S. service members and 170 civilians were killed at Kabul’s airport.

More particularly, McCaul was seeking the “dissent channel” cable that warned top officials of the potential collapse of Kabul soon after the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

“For the first time in history, the State Department has agreed to allow Congress to view a dissent channel cable,” McCaul said in a statement.