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House bill calls for Congressional oversight of Afghanistan withdrawal

June 26 (UPI) — A bipartisan bill introduced this week in the U.S. House of Representatives would give Congress oversight of the U.S. troop drawdown in Afghanistan.

The Afghanistan Partnership and Transparency Act, introduced on Thursday, would require the White House, State Department, Office of National Intelligence and Defense Department to provide reports to Congress when U.S. troop levels are reduced to below 8,000 troops, and again at 5,000 troops, according to members of Congress behind the bill.

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In March, the United States began withdrawing troops from Afghanistan under the terms of a peace deal signed in February with the Taliban. The United States committed to reducing its forces from 13,000 troops to 8,600 within 135 days, although a further drawdown is anticipated.

The legislation was introduced by two Democratic and two Republican members of the House: Reps. Jason Crow, D-Colo.; Michael Waltz,R-Fla.; Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. and Susan Davis, D-Calif.

Crow served two tours of duty in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger, and Waltz is a former Army Special Forces Green Beret.

The bill requires the White House to submit “a comprehensive, interagency report and certification” of the drawdown, including U.S., national security implication and its effect on NATO partners, a statement on Crow’s website said on Friday.

The agreement between the United States and the Taliban, signed in February, calls for NATO and U.S. troops to leave Afghanistan within 14 months, assuming the Taliban upholds its commitments.

The United States has had a military presence in the country for 18 years.

“This legislation will help ensure that Congress and the American people are fully informed about America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and the impact it is having and will have on our security,” Cheney said in a statement on Friday.

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