This Week in Congress: Revisiting Afghanistan

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with lawmakers behind closed doors this week to answer questions about the chaotic withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan last summer.

The meeting was originally scheduled for early January, but has been postponed several times due to scheduling issues with Congress. Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee are expected.

Austin previously appeared before the Armed Services panel last fall to answer questions about Operation Withdrawal, but senators said questions remain about the decision to withdraw all troops from the country and the rise of terrorist groups. in the months that followed.

Congressional leaders pledged to continue hearings on many aspects of the mission in Afghanistan in the months ahead, with a view to learning from mistakes made in order to avoid them in the future.

Tuesday, February 1

Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — 106 Dirksen

State Department officials will testify on the current security situation in Sudan.

Senate Homeland Security — 10:15 a.m. — 342 Dirksen

The committee will consider several candidates, including Shalanda Young for the position of director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Wednesday February 2

Senate Armed Services — 10 a.m. — S200 Visitor Center

Information meeting closed
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken will give a classified briefing on Afghanistan to members of several committees in a closed session.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing

Jobs for veterans
Ministry officials will testify to efforts to help veterans secure high-demand jobs after their military service.

House Homeland Security – 10 a.m. – online hearing

Outside experts will testify on global terrorist threats and the US strategic response.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — online hearing

North Africa
Outside experts will testify on the security situation in North Africa and the Middle East.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 2 p.m. — online hearing

Health legislation
The committee will mark several health care measures for veterans.

Thursday February 3

House Veterans’ Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing

Veterans Centers
Ministry officials will testify about services provided by veterans centers and plans for future expansion.

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, DC since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned him numerous accolades, including a 2009 Polk Award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism Award, and the VFW News Media Award.