U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), during a Monday appearance on Fox Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria,” provided a glimpse of what to expect from impending hearings related to the controversial conclusion of U.S. occupation in Afghanistan.
Alabama’s freshman senator last week led the charge to call for hearings from senior military officials, including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff General Mark Milley, among others in military leadership.
Tuberville believes Congress must exercise its constitutional oversight authority in demanding officials provide an account for the decision-making process of the U.S. withdrawal from the embattled Middle Eastern country.
“Well, it’s time for show and tell on Capitol Hill, Maria,” said Tuberville. “The damage has been done. That’s usually what happens when it gets to us [Congress] – we’re oversight, and we get the opportunity to bring in whoever to ask them the direct questions.”
Tuberville wants answers provided to the American public on whether the Biden administration’s exit strategy was a plan designed by Pentagon leadership or if decisions were carried out by State Department officials which were made out of political calculation.
“[I] sent a letter last week to Chairman Reed on the Armed Services Committee about – hey, we need the generals, the people that actually know what’s going on,” said Tuberville. “So, we’ll have them probably next week. We need to ask them the tough questions. We need to know whether this was a military decision from the generals on up or was it just a political decision from the State Department. It’s been botched from day one; we have to have answers.”
The senator expressed concerns relating to the decision to cede control of Bagram Air Force Base.
“I asked the same question in a hearing about three months ago to some of our generals,” he added. “I said ‘If we move out of Bagram, where’s our nearest base?’ Our nearest base is Qatar, it’s a five or six-hour flight to get to Bagram. That makes no sense. We just gave up all of our security in the Middle East, China, Pakistan. It’s going to be a haven for terrorists.”
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL