This week in Congress: More unanswered questions on the Afghanistan exit

This week in Congress: More unanswered questions on the Afghanistan exit

Once again, a senior Defense Department official is expected to face tough questioning from lawmakers this week over this summer’s withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan and the long-term security impact of the move.

This time, it’s Colin Kahl, under secretary of defense for policy, who is scheduled to appear in a public hearing on Afghanistan before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

His appearance comes almost one month after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley were grilled by committee members in a often tense hearing on the same topic.

Senators received a classified briefing on Afghanistan last week. After that, committee ranking member Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said he was dismayed by the latest security updates for the region following the American troops’ exit and will ask Kahl “how the Biden administration intends to deal with the serious national security consequences of our departure.”

Both House and Senate lawmakers have promised ongoing hearings on the Afghanistan departure, the nearly 20-year war and the military missteps in the region.

Tuesday, Oct. 26

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen

Afghanistan

Colin Kahl, under secretary of defense for policy, will testify on the security situation in Afghanistan.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing

Women veterans

VA officials will testify on support services for female service members and veterans.

House Appropriations — 2 p.m. — online hearing

DOD workforce

Department officials will testify on workplace development issues.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 2 p.m. — online hearing

VA health records

VA officials will testify on current progress with their electronic medical records overhaul process.

Senate Foreign Relations — 2:30 p.m. — online hearing

Nominations

The committee will consider several pending nominations, including Marc Stanley to be U.S. ambassador to Argentina.

Wednesday, Oct. 27

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing

Human trafficking

Outside experts will testify on efforts to combat human trafficking.

Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen

State Department

Officials will testify on the current operations and the annual authorization bill for the department.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing

VA patient safety

Department officials will testify on efforts to improve patient safety at VA medical centers.

Senate Foreign Relations — 2:30 p.m. — G-50 Dirksen

Black Sea security

Outside experts will testify on the security situation in the region.

Senate Veterans’ Affairs — 3 p.m. — 418 Russell

Veterans employment

Department officials will testify on employment, education and home loan programs.

Thursday, Oct. 28

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing

The Balkans

Gabriel Escobar, deputy assistant Secretary of State for Eurasian Affairs, will testify on the current security situation in the region.

House Armed Services — 11 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn

Military depots

Service officials will testify on depot modernization issues.

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.



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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.