“We’ve now been spending time putting all of this together to make sure that we look at some of the common lessons learned,” Blinken said in testimony to a Senate Appropriations Committee subcommittee hearing. “I am committed and determined to make that information available to Congress, and we will do that. We will do that by mid-April. So I can tell you today, you’ll have the after-action review. We will share the findings and find the appropriate mechanism to do that within the next three weeks.”
Similarly, Kirby told reporters on Wednesday, “We expect to be able to share those takeaways with the public by mid-April, and, of course, we also have every expectation that the agencies themselves who conducted these after-action reviews will be able to share the classified reports with their relevant congressional oversight committees again, on the same basic timeline of mid-April.”
Members of Congress have been demanding information about the August 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan for months. House Republicans, who now are in the majority, have sought to bring the withdrawal back into the spotlight through new oversight investigations and hearings.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, threatened to subpoena Blinken this week if the Biden administration official doesn’t provide requested documents related to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
McCaul’s letter comes after multiple requests spanning months from him to obtain relevant documents providing a comprehensive overview of the withdrawal that included the evacuation of more than 120,000 people out of the country as the Taliban quickly seized control of the government. The operation has been heavily scrutinized, particularly after a suicide attack outside the Hamid airport left 13 American service members and roughly 170 Afghans dead, and the botched U.S. drone strike three days later that unintentionally targeted an innocent aid worker and killed 10.
Two service members who were nearby when the bombing took place testified in front of McCaul’s committee earlier this month, and both referenced their perceived lack of accountability for how the withdrawal occurred.
Blinken is set to testify before the Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday to answer questions on Biden’s proposed budget for the State Department in the next fiscal year.