Colin Kahl, under secretary of defense for policy, is shown in a 2012 photograph. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Once again, a senior Defense Department official is expected to face tough questioning from lawmakers this week over this summer’s withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan and the long-term security impact of the move.
This time, it’s Colin Kahl, under secretary of defense for policy, who is scheduled to appear in a public hearing on Afghanistan before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.
His appearance comes almost one month after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley were grilled by committee members in a often tense hearing on the same topic.
Senators received a classified briefing on Afghanistan last week. After that, committee ranking member Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said he was dismayed by the latest security updates for the region following the American troops’ exit and will ask Kahl “how the Biden administration intends to deal with the serious national security consequences of our departure.”
Both House and Senate lawmakers have promised ongoing hearings on the Afghanistan departure, the nearly 20-year war and the military missteps in the region.
Tuesday, Oct. 26
Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen Afghanistan
Colin Kahl, under secretary of defense for policy, will testify on the security situation in Afghanistan.
House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing Women veterans
VA officials will testify on support services for female service members and veterans.
House Appropriations — 2 p.m. — online hearing DOD workforce
Department officials will testify on workplace development issues.
House Veterans' Affairs — 2 p.m. — online hearing VA health records
VA officials will testify on current progress with their electronic medical records overhaul process.
Senate Foreign Relations — 2:30 p.m. — online hearing Nominations
The committee will consider several pending nominations, including Marc Stanley to be U.S. ambassador to Argentina.
Wednesday, Oct. 27
House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing Human trafficking
Outside experts will testify on efforts to combat human trafficking.
Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen State Department
Officials will testify on the current operations and the annual authorization bill for the department.
House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing VA patient safety
Department officials will testify on efforts to improve patient safety at VA medical centers.
Senate Foreign Relations — 2:30 p.m. — G-50 Dirksen Black Sea security
Outside experts will testify on the security situation in the region.
Senate Veterans' Affairs — 3 p.m. — 418 Russell Veterans employment
Department officials will testify on employment, education and home loan programs.
Thursday, Oct. 28
House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing The Balkans
Gabriel Escobar, deputy assistant Secretary of State for Eurasian Affairs, will testify on the current security situation in the region.
House Armed Services — 11 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn Military depots
Service officials will testify on depot modernization issues.
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.