UPDATED 2:54 PM PT – Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Top Republican senators held a press conference to reveal what they learned from a closed door briefing with top officials. On Tuesday after the classified hearing, Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe (R) discussed Army General Austin Scott Miller’s testimony about the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
Inhofe went on to say, “we had quite an event with General Miller and he did say its alright to acknowledge that he opposed the effort that took place.”
Inhofe communicated General Miller in fact expressed these concerns to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and his direct supervisor and Commander of U.S. Central Command Marine General Kenneth McKenzie. However, those concerns did not get back to Joe Biden because when asked in an interview last month if he was ever advised to keep some troops in Afghanistan, he said he wasn’t.
This briefing was just the start of what will be an open, exhaustive, transparent process to look at what went wrong in Afghanistan, who we should hold accountable & what comes next. I've got a lot more questions for the Biden Administration – they better have a lot of answers.
— Sen. Jim Inhofe (@JimInhofe) September 15, 2021
Inhofe acknowledged there were pieces that didn’t align with Biden’s orders on the withdrawal.
“We heard enough to know there are inconsistencies between what the administration has said and the truth,” he expressed. “Clearly President Biden didn’t listen to all the military advice. I’m even more eager now to hear from Secretary Austin, General Milley and General McKenzie.”
Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) said his worries grew regarding the reliability of the country’s leaders by questioning if these were people Americans could trust, especially after the miscommunication between Biden and top officials regarding a decision to send troops home.
Sullivan also said the hearings to come were more than necessary.
“We are beginning that accountability process and these hearings are going to be important,” he asserted. “Keep an eye on one issue as we do these hearings, the military’s credibility versus the Biden administration’s credibility.”
Back home in Alaska, the Biden administration's botched #Afghanistan withdrawal was the number one issue raised by my constituents.
My colleagues and I are beginning the accountability process, and the hearings planned for the next few weeks are going to be critically important. pic.twitter.com/FwY2ou0IGW
— Sen. Dan Sullivan (@SenDanSullivan) September 15, 2021
Sullivan added members of the military would be called on as there was a desire to hear their opinions.
“‘This was an extraordinary success al-Qaeda has been wiped out in Afghanistan. Our NATO allies were fine with the August 31 deadline. We have over the rise in capability to keep us safe,” he listed. “Everyone of those statements are not true and we are going to be asking our military members to weigh in on these statements.”
Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst (R) aimed to remind everyone Americans were still stuck in Afghanistan and added without U.S. troops on the ground, the fight would be difficult. However, she said it must continue until all U.S. citizens were evacuated.