Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), Chairman of the National Security Subcommittee, U.S. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Chairwoman of the Oversight and Reform Committee, U.S. Representative James Comer (R-KY), Oversight and Reform Ranking Member, and U.S. Representative Glenn Grothman (R-WI), National Security Subcommittee Ranking Member, sent a letter to Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko requesting SIGAR review the underlying causes that contributed to the collapse of the government of Afghanistan and the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), as well as the ramifications of the Taliban’s return to power for U.S. national security and the people of Afghanistan.
“In light of the collapse of the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban’s return to power, it is imperative to conduct a complete and thorough accounting of the U.S. reconstruction mission in Afghanistan,” the Members wrote.
The United States has spent approximately $145 billion for reconstruction activities in Afghanistan since 2002, including about $87 billion to build, train, equip, and assist the ANDSF.
Since its inception in 2008, SIGAR has issued 427 audits, 191 special project reports, 52 quarterly reports, and ten comprehensive lessons-learned reports. Together, these reports represent a body of work that repeatedly identified long-term, structural weaknesses in the viability and legitimacy of the government of Afghanistan, and persistent vulnerabilities with respect to the strength and capabilities of the ANDSF.
“Given two decades of U.S. and Coalition investments in Afghanistan’s future, it is crucial that the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) continue its important work on behalf of Congress and the American people to document the relative successes and failures of our reconstruction mission in Afghanistan, particularly in light of the Afghan government’s capitulation to the Taliban in a matter of weeks, culminating with the fall of Kabul on August 15, 2021,” the Members wrote.
The Committee’s letter followed a bipartisan briefing that Special Inspector General Sopko provided to Committee Members on August 31, 2021, regarding recent events in Afghanistan. Special Inspector General Sopko has briefed the Committee on a bipartisan basis multiple times since 2019 and has testified before the Subcommittee on National Security at several hearings.
Click here to read today’s letter.