VIDEO: Waltz Calls for Accountability on Disastrous Afghanistan Withdrawal
Washington, July 27, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, U.S. Congressman Mike Waltz (FL-6) questioned Colonel (Ret.) Seth Krummrich and Command Sergeant Major Jacob Smith during the House Foreign Affairs Oversight & Accountability Subcommittee hearing on the Biden Administration's preparation for the Afghanistan withdrawal.
Watch the full exchange here.
“Bagram, and this is critical to the families sitting behind you, was the prison holding seven thousand, seven thousand, of the most hardened terrorists, including the suicide bomber that killed their loved ones at Abbey Gate, correct?” asked Waltz.
CSM Jacob Smith responded, “That is correct, sir.”
“The Afghans were guarding it but they needed the base for power, for life support, for supplies,” said Waltz. “Were you aware of any contingency planning as the Taliban were closing in on Kabul to deal with those prisoners should that prison fall or should they be released? Were you aware of any contingency planning?”
Smith responded, “I was not, sir.”
Waltz asked, “Were you aware of any contingency planning to deal with our SIVs, key Afghans like ministry officials, journalists, women activists, people that the Taliban had obviously targeted for twenty years and would continue, including, heck, our own U.S. citizens; any contingency planning as part of this rapid withdrawal to get those folks out should our assumptions that the Afghan government could hold and the Afghan military would hold would fail. Any contingency planning along those lines?”
Col. Seth Krummrich (Ret.) responded, “No and it became very painfully obvious, under extreme duress, how big of a gap that that was.”
Waltz continued, “So this was an utter lack of planning that their loved ones paid the ultimate price for… Our Afghan allies, right now, today, are being hunted down as we speak. They are still paying the price and future American soldiers have to go back and clean up this mess as we’ve had to do with Iraq from the Obama Administration’s decisions. I mean, [is] there a direct causation there in your opinion?”
“There is,” said Krummrich.
Waltz asked, “How does it feel that not a single official has resigned, been relieved, been court-martialed, even laterally transferred?”
“Terrible and I would like one to take responsibility,” responded Krummrich.
“As long as I sit in this seat, we will drive accountability for you and your loved ones,” Waltz said, pointing to the families of the fallen present at the subcommittee hearing.