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Banks questions military leaders on Afghanistan, southern border

(Supplied/Congressman Jim Banks)

WASHINGTON (Network Indiana) Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, were questioned about various subjects in a House committee hearing on Thursday.

Rep. Jim Banks was among the lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee that have several questions for the two men.

Banks pressed Austin about the White House’s views on the withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.

“Do you have regrets about the withdrawal or how the withdrawal occurred from Afghanistan that cost the lives of 13 or our service members,” Banks asked.

“I don’t have any regrets….” Austin began to say.

“You don’t have any regrets, ” Banks interrupted. “Secretary Austin, that is very telling. You don’t regret it. No one has been held accountable. You see, Mr. Chairman, this is why this Republican majority must provide the accountability that this administration wants to sweep under the rug.”

Banks, who is running for U.S. Senate next year, then turned his attention to Milley whom he questioned about how the military can be used to secure the southern border with Mexico. He was curious about what actions President Biden could take with the U.S. military if the situation at the border were to be recognized as a “crisis” by the White House.

“If there are special authorities, it’s mind-blowing to me that the president of the United States would not want to use the military at the southern border if it is a crisis,” Banks said to Milley.

“I personally think that the lead on the border itself clearly should be law enforcement as opposed to the military,” Milley said. “Now, mechanically, could you line up divisions of troops, of course, you could. But, is that the right thing to do, the right way to do it? I would certainly advise against that.”

Milley suggested a more logistically role for the military to help back up law enforcement on the southern border.

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