U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, Ed Schipul, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5

McCaul requests transcribed interviews of key US State Department officials over Afghanistan withdrawal

The chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul, has requested transcribed interviews of key US State Department officials as part of the committee’s investigation into the Biden administration’s “chaotic and deadly” withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The officials who have been asked to provide transcribed interviews include Zalmay Khalilzad, the former US special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, former acting US ambassador to Afghanistan Ross Wilson, former US ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass, and six others.

In a letter to Khalilzad, McCaul stated that he is a “critical witness” to the committee’s ongoing investigation.

McCaul has requested that the US officials contact the committee to schedule their transcribed interviews by September 7, 2023.

“Through our ongoing investigation, we have determined these individuals have important information that is critical to uncovering how and why the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan resulted in a disgraceful surrender to the Taliban, the death of 13 U.S. service members, and injuring 45 more, all which could have been prevented,” McCaul stated in a press release published on Wednesday.

“This was an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions and I will not rest until the American people receive the transparency and answers they deserve. The committee will continue to interview additional current and former administration officials involved in the planning and execution of the withdrawal,” he added.

The Biden administration has faced criticism for its handling of the withdrawal, which signaled the end of America’s longest war and the return of the Taliban to power.

The US President has, however, defended its decision as “the right thing to do.”

Recently, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said that the withdrawal was “an incredibly difficult” decision, but also the right one.

“For the first time in 20 years, we don’t have another generation of young Americans going to fight and die in Afghanistan,” Blinken stated.