NEWS & ANALYSIS

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Refused to Testify on Afghanistan Withdrawal


Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez said Tuesday that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin declined to testify on the botched Afghanistan withdrawal. 

If he doesn’t agree to do so in the near future, Menendez threatened to issue a subpoena, Just the News reports. 

“I’m very disappointed that Secretary Austin declined our request to testify today,”  Menendez said during a hearing Tuesday with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “A full accounting of the U.S. response to this crisis is not complete without the Pentagon – especially when it comes to understanding the complete collapse of the U.S. trained and funded Afghan military. His decision not to appear before the committee will affect my judgement on Department of Defense nominees.” 

“I expect that the secretary will avail himself to the committee in the near future,” Menendez said. “If he does not, I may consider the use of the committee’s subpoena power to compel him and others over the course of these last twenty years to testify.”