October 26, 2021

Duckworth Secures Additional Support for a Nonpartisan Afghanistan War Commission During SASC Hearing


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — During a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) hearing today, combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) secured support from Colin Kahl, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, and Lieutenant General James Mingus, Director for Operations, J3 Joint Staff, for her Afghanistan War Commission Act, a bill that calls for the creation of a comprehensive, nonpartisan commission to examine our nation’s 20 years of involvement in Afghanistan. During her remarks, Duckworth highlighted the need for this review so our nation can better understand the mistakes that were made and apply lessons learned to current and future operations. Video of the Senator’s remarks can be found here.

“For 20 years, we prosecuted this war without a viable strategy. We failed to consider the long-term costs and consequences associated with our involvement. And if we fail to learn from our history in Afghanistan, we will be doomed to repeat it,” said Duckworth. “I’m pleased to hear our witnesses confirm their support for an independent commission because this is just too important to get wrong. If we simply settle for yet another report, without empowering a truly nonpartisan, independent body to make forward-looking recommendations, then we won’t have done our duty to prevent future generations from repeating our mistakes.”

At last month’s SASC hearing with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Miller and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Commander Kenneth Mckenzie, Duckworth advocated for a comprehensive, independent and honest review of our nation’s involvement in Afghanistan since the 9/11 terrorist attacks for the swift and safe return of Illinoisan Mark Frerichs who is still being held hostage in Afghanistan.

Duckworth served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years and is Chair of the SASC Airland Subcommittee. She was one of the first handful of Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom. She served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years before retiring from military service in 2014 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. She served on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) during her four years serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.