House Intel Committee to Receive Afghanistan Briefing

House Intelligence Committee members will meet with intelligence community officials to discuss the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, The Hill reported Thursday.

The briefing, scheduled for Monday, is believed to be the first in-person meeting with lawmakers regarding the latest events in Afghanistan.

“Briefers from several IC agencies will discuss the analytic assessment of Afghanistan and how it evolved in advance of Kabul’s fall, the current situation on the ground, and how it may develop in the coming days,” a committee official told The Hill via email.

The official told The Hill the House committee will conduct additional oversight following the August recess “including on collection posture, analyses, IC operations, and counterterrorism.”

Four separate congressional committees have pledged oversight into the administration’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

The House Intelligence Committee briefing was confirmed amid criticism of U.S. intelligence by administration officials.

“There was nothing that I or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days,” Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday. 

The Senate Intelligence Committee also is planning to review the administration’s decisions in Afghanistan. The Hill said chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., noted the intelligence community had been clear that the Taliban would make gains without a U.S. presence.

“I hope to work with the other committees of jurisdiction to ask tough but necessary questions about why we weren’t better prepared for a worst-case scenario involving such a swift and total collapse of the Afghan government and security forces,” Warner said in a statement earlier this week.

Former intelligence officials have defended the community’s work.

“The real question here isn’t why did intelligence get it wrong, it’s really, what were the assumptions that policymakers were making when they made the decisions that they made?” Katrina Mulligan, who has held national security roles at the National Security Council and the Department of Justice, previously told The Hill.

The terrorist Taliban seized the capital city of Kabul on Sunday and regained control of Afghanistan due to the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday said U.S. troops would remain in Afghanistan until all Americans leave the country — even if it takes longer than his Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw.

“If there are American citizens left, we’re going to stay to get them all out,” Biden told ABC.

Bloomberg News contributed to this story.

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