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Washington, DCHouse Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul sent a letter to Brian McKeon, the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources asking the State Department to release their unclassified opening statements from the June 15 classified briefing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC). Additionally, McCaul asked the State Department to participate in public hearings before HFAC to provide the transparency Americans deserve regarding the Biden Administration’s disastrous withdraw from Afghanistan.

“Having participated in this classified briefing, you are aware that the majority of the discussion was unclassified. As a result, and to reiterate the specific requests of Members in attendance, I seek to have the five unclassified opening statements provided to all HFAC members. Finally, I would also like to once again ask that the State Department participate in more open/unclassified briefings and hearings before the full House Foreign Affairs Committee so that the American people can gain a better and more transparent understanding of what took place in Afghanistan during the final days of America’s presence there and the current realities on the ground.”

The full text of the letter can be found here and below.

Dear Secretary McKeon:

I am writing to express my appreciation for your willingness, along with your State Department colleagues, to provide a closed classified briefing on Afghanistan policy to Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) on June 15, 2022.

We appreciated the opportunity to hear from you about the various factors the Biden administration took into account during the planning, deliberation and execution of the full withdrawal of all United States military and diplomatic personnel from Afghanistan. Having participated in this classified briefing, you are aware that the majority of the discussion was unclassified. As a result, and to reiterate the specific requests of Members in attendance, I seek to have the five unclassified opening statements provided to all HFAC members.

Finally, I would also like to once again ask that the State Department participate in more open/unclassified briefings and hearings before the full House Foreign Affairs Committee so that the American people can gain a better and more transparent understanding of what took place in Afghanistan during the final days of America’s presence there and the current realities on the ground.

The decision to withdraw U.S. troops entirely in April 2021, the emergency evacuation from Afghanistan, and the instability that ensued are worthy of greater focus and enhanced transparency for the American public, particularly American veterans and the family members of the more than 2,000 American service members who lost their lives in Afghanistan.

Thank you for your attention to these requests. We look forward to working with you to ensure expeditious compliance.

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