April 10, 2024

Florida representative introduces resolution to impeach Lloyd Austin over Afghanistan withdrawal

Washington Examiner | by Rachel Schilke | August 25, 2023

DP News Summary Talking Points:

  • Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL) introduces a resolution to impeach Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for alleged “high crimes and misdemeanors” in relation to the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
  • The resolution accuses Austin of dereliction of duty and abandoning Americans in Afghanistan, citing his decisions during the events of July and August 2021.
  • Mills, a veteran and House Armed Services Committee member, criticizes the administration’s handling of the withdrawal and claims that Austin prioritized politics over military readiness.

EXCLUSIVE — Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL) introduced a resolution on Friday to impeach Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for “high crimes and misdemeanors” related to the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.

Mills’s bill, obtained exclusively by the Washington Examiner, states that Austin engaged in a “dereliction of his duties and intentional abandonment of Americans in Afghanistan.

“Despite having nearly 8 months as Secretary of Defense to prepare for and execute a smooth and orderly departure from Afghanistan, Secretary Austin failed to adequately prepare for such a withdrawal, including through his decisions during the catastrophic events of July and August 2021, which initially resulted in as many as 9,000 American citizens being abandoned in Afghanistan,” the bill reads.

Republicans and former military members have long blamed President Joe Biden, who went against the guidance from his top military advisers to withdraw the entire U.S. military presence in Afghanistan in August 2021.

Mills, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, is a veteran of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and was the only member of Congress to have rescued people from the Taliban after the withdrawal. A candidate at the time, Mills conducted the first successful civilian overland rescue mission of Americans.

“High-level officials in this administration blatantly ignored intel that Americans and our allied partners in Kabul would be left behind in harm’s way unless the U.S. corrected course in our withdrawal,” Mills said in a statement.

“It’s not enough for Congress to hold committee hearings. We must start taking real action to address the complete failure of this administration,“ Mills continued. “Tomorrow marks two years to the day that we lost 13 of our brave service members. The fact that it has been two entire years without any member of this administration being held accountable is unfathomable. That changes today.”

The resolution claims that Austin’s actions caused the “unnecessary deaths” of 13 U.S. service members in Kabul. A new book, Kabul: The Untold Story of Biden’s Fiasco and the American Warriors Who Fought to the End, revealed that the Taliban failed to act on U.S. intelligence and conduct an assault on ISIS-K members just days before the 13 members were killed in a terrorist attack.

“In my thirty years around the United States military, I have never witnessed a Secretary of Defense more focused on putting politics over military readiness, troop welfare and our national security, than Secretary Austin,” said Chad Robichaux, a former Recon Marine who rescued more than 17,000 people following the Afghanistan 2021 withdrawal. “He, along with this administration, have destroyed parts of our military history, culture, troop morale, and most concerning, our readiness.”

Defense leaders argued at the time that while the Taliban wasn’t an ideal partner, they could be trusted in this particular instance because both sides had a similar goal: The U.S. military leaving the South Central Asian country as soon as possible.

Austin testified before the House Armed Services Committee in March, saying he didn’t have any “regrets” about how the withdrawal took place.

However, former Marine Mark Geist, who aided in the rescue of more than 100 Americans from the Taliban in 2021, said in a statement to the Washington Examiner that Austin “failed our troops.”

The Pentagon told the Washington Examiner it does “not have anything to provide” when asked for a comment on impeachment efforts against Austin.

Source: Cory Mills seeks to impeach Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for Afghanistan withdrawal | Washington Examiner