KABUL – US Republican Representative Cory Mills from Florida has introduced a resolution aimed at impeaching Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin due to his handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal. Mills, known for his far-right views, alleges that Austin neglected crucial intelligence and oversaw a disorderly retreat from Afghanistan in 2021, leading to the deaths of 13 American service members and hundreds of Afghans.
The resolution was introduced just a day before the second anniversary of the service members’ deaths. Mills asserts that top officials in the administration disregarded intelligence that indicated both Americans and allied partners in Kabul would be endangered unless the U.S. altered its withdrawal strategy. This negligence resulted in the tragic deaths of nearly 200 individuals, including the 13 American servicemembers, during an attack at Abbey Gate in Kabul two years ago. Mills contends that Austin’s failure to adequately plan for the withdrawal despite having ample time to prepare constitutes “high crimes and misdemeanors.” He criticizes Austin for a rushed retreat that failed to safeguard American and Afghan lives, labeling it as both strategically and morally misguided.
Mills also highlights a problematic U.S. withdrawal from Bagram Airfield in July 2021, during which the Afghan forces were left in charge without proper notification to the new commander. The subsequent Taliban takeover of the base led to the release of numerous prisoners, including one of the perpetrators behind the Abbey Gate attack.
The level of support for this resolution within the House remains uncertain. While Republicans have shown fervor in pursuing the impeachment of officials within the Biden administration, they have yet to take significant action. Previous attempts to impeach figures such as Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and even President Biden, led by Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, did not gain substantial traction.
The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, marked by chaos, began in the summer of 2021 and concluded by the end of August of the same year. This hasty retreat allowed the Taliban to seize control of Kabul, the capital city, and initially left a considerable number of Americans stranded.