House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) and Oversight Republicans sent a letter to Jake Sullivan, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, requesting two separate Member-level briefings on the Biden Administration’s reckless “over-the-horizon” Afghanistan strategy and the deadly drone strike that targeted Zemari Ahmadi, an innocent humanitarian worker. The lawmakers emphasized the drone strike that killed ten innocent civilians, including seven children, was unnecessary and conducted only because President Biden promised retaliatory action, and expressed major concerns about the Administration’s “over-the-horizon” capabilities in Afghanistan.
“As the chief architect of the Administration’s failings in Afghanistan, you played a major role in every decision over the past nine months that led to the removal of an American presence in Afghanistan and the delivery of the country to the Taliban—an authoritative and brutal regime. A review of these failings will be comprehensive,” the lawmakers wrote to Sullivan. “The facts surrounding the assassination of Zemari Ahmadi and his family serve as a fitting start for that oversight… The drone strike against the Ahmadi family appears to have been conducted for political advantage rather than to prevent any threat to American lives. The same can be said for much of what has occurred in Afghanistan since April. With no intelligence network in Afghanistan, no local partners on the ground, and currently no nearby airbase available for American use, the President’s “over-the-horizon” approach appears to be nothing more than an over the rainbow fantasy.”
Oversight Republicans are seeking answers to the following questions:
- Did President Biden personally authorize the drone strike that killed Zemari Ahmadi? If not, who is the highest-ranking government official who authorized the strike?
- When was President Biden informed the drone strike killed children? When was President Biden informed the drone strike killed only innocent civilians and no ISIS-K assets?
- Who made the decision for the Department of Defense to acknowledge fault in the August 29 drone strike, and on what date was that decision made?
To assist the lawmakers in fulfilling their constitutional oversight role, Republicans are also seeking all documents and communications related to the Biden Administration’s decisions in the region.