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Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez. Photo: Office of Sen. Bob Menendez

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said Tuesday he would hold hearings into the "flawed" U.S. troop withdrawal of Afghanistan.

Driving the news: Menendez, who blamed both the Biden and Trump administrations for the crisis unfolding in the Taliban-controlled country, is one of three top Democrats who head Senate committees who've vowed to investigate the Afghanistan crisis.

  • Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I) said in a statement Tuesday his panel would launch an investigation into the "failures of intelligence, diplomacy and a lack of imagination as we transitioned military forces from the country."
  • Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said in a statement Monday he would ask "tough but necessary questions" about why the U.S. wasn't "better prepared for a worst-case scenario involving such a swift and total collapse of the Afghan government and security forces."

What he's saying: "The events of recent days have been the culmination of a series of mistakes made by Republican and Democratic administrations over the past 20 years," Menendez said in a statement.

  • "The wholly inadequate agreement the Trump administration made with the Taliban did not get commitments for the Taliban to break ties with Al Qaeda, nor did it account for the day after our withdrawal.
  • "In implementing this flawed plan, I am disappointed that the Biden administration clearly did not accurately assess the implications of a rapid U.S. withdrawal. We are now witnessing the horrifying results of many years of policy and intelligence failures.
"To see [the ousted government's] army dissolve so quickly after billions of dollars in U.S. support is astounding. The American and Afghan people clearly have not been told the truth about the ANDSF’s capacity and deserve answers."

What's next: Menendez said the Senate Foreign Relations Committee would hold a hearing on U.S. policy towards Afghanistan — "including the Trump administration’s flawed negotiations with Taliban, and the Biden administration’s flawed execution of the U.S. withdrawal."

  • The committee plans to seek a "full accounting for these shortcomings" and assess why the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces collapsed so quickly, Menendez said.
  • The committee will also examine the path forward for Afghanistan, focused on the international response to the "looming humanitarian and human rights catastrophe under a Taliban-led regime, the senator added.

For the record: President Biden and former President Trump have blamed each other for the Afghanistan crisis.

  • A State Department spokesperson said in an emailed statement: "We have consistently worked with Congress on Afghanistan policy issues and will continue to do so."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from the State Department.

Go deeper

Democrats brace for retaliation over Gosar censure

Rep. Paul Gosar rides a Capitol subway car Wednesday, before he was censured. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

House Democrats are braced for retribution if Republicans retake the majority next year, after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy promised it as he complained about the effort to censure Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.).

Why it matters: The speeches that preceded Wednesday's vote illustrated how an effort to hold a member to account only exacerbated the divide between congressional Democrats and Republicans.

Why 401(k) rollovers are so annoying

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you happened to change jobs recently, you may have tried to transfer your retirement account from your former employer into an Individual Retirement Account or your new employer's 401(k) plan. If so, you probably encountered a bureaucratic gantlet — and you're not alone.

Why it matters: Kludgey processes around retirement account transfers result in people losing track of their funds, giving up important tax advantages, or otherwise disadvantaging themselves and being less prepared for retirement.

The hard math behind America's labor shortage

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, the pandemic has created unusual temporary labor market dynamics. But in the bigger picture, the 2010s were a golden age for companies seeking cheap labor. The 2020s are not.

The big picture: In the 2010s, the massive millennial generation was entering the workforce, the massive baby bo0m generation was still hard at work, and there was a multi-year hangover from the deep recession caused by the global financial crisis.