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Armed Services Committees Leadership Announces Selections for Afghanistan War Commission

The bipartisan leadership of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), and Representatives Adam Smith (D-WA) and Mike Rogers (R-AL), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), today announced their appointments to the Afghanistan War Commission, which was established by Sec. 1094 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22).

The Afghanistan War Commission will conduct a comprehensive review of key decisions related to U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan by focusing on the period from June 2001 to August 2021. Pursuant to Sec. 1094, the Commission will examine “all matters relating to combat operations, reconstruction and security force assistance activities, intelligence activities, and diplomatic activities of the United States” in order to craft “lessons learned and recommendations for the way forward that will inform future decisions by Congress and policymakers throughout the United States Government.” The Commission is required to submit its final report to appropriate congressional committees within three years of its first meeting, and a public version of that report will be made available to the public in an unclassified form.

Sixteen appointed members will make up the Commission, including one member each appointed by the HASC Chair and Ranking Member, the SASC Chair and Ranking Member, the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the Speaker of the House, House Minority Leader, Senate Majority Leader, and Senate Minority Leader, respectively.

The leaders of the Armed Services Committees named the following appointees:

Chairman Reed selected: Michael Lumpkin is the President at Amida Technology Solutions. He previously served in several government roles to include Special Envoy/Coordinator at the U.S. State Department’s Global Engagement Center, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and Senior Advisor/Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Outside of his Administration appointments, Michael has served as Vice President of Human Performance at Leidos; Principal at Neptune; CEO at Industrial Security Alliance Partners; Director of Business Development at ATI; and as a career naval officer. He is a qualified Surface Warfare Officer and a U.S. Navy SEAL, having served in every leadership position within the SEAL Teams from Platoon Commander to Team Commanding Officer, and is a veteran of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM. He has received more than 40 military awards for his military service in both combat and peacetime. Michael has also been recognized twice with the Medal for Distinguished Public Service, twice with the Medal for Outstanding Public Service by DoD, and is the recipient of the Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence. A native of San Diego, he has well established roots in Alexandria, Virginia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A true frogman, he is an avid waterman, spear fisherman, and critter rescuer.

Chairman Smith selected: Jeremy Bash served as Chief of Staff at the United States Department of Defense from 2011-2013 and as the Chief of Staff at the Central Intelligence Agency from 2009-2011. As a senior advisor in both roles to Secretary Leon Panetta, Mr. Bash helped oversee a range of national security, defense, and intelligence issues. From August 2010 to May 2011, he was part of the CIA’s senior management team overseeing the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden. From 2004-2008, Mr. Bash served in a variety of roles on Capitol Hill, including as chief counsel to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He currently serves as Managing Director at Beacon Global Strategies, which he co-founded in 2013. He earned his BA in Government from Georgetown University and his JD from Harvard Law School, where he graduated with honors and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Ranking Member Inhofe selected: Colin Jackson chairs the Strategic and Operational Research Department at the U.S. Naval War College.  From 2017-2019, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia, overseeing all strategy, security cooperation, budget oversight, and contingency planning.  Dr. Jackson received his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008, and he deployed to Afghanistan as Executive Officer for Policy Planning for the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations USFOR-A in 2011.

Ranking Member Rogers selected: Michael Allen served in the Bush White House from 2001-2009 in a variety of national security roles including Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Counterproliferation Strategies and Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Legislative Affairs at the National Security Council. From 2011-2013, Allen served as the Majority Staff Director of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). He is the author of Blinking Red, Crisis and Compromise in American Intelligence after 9/11 (Potomac Books, 2013) and recipient of the National Intelligence Superior Public Service Medal. 

Click here to read the full text of Sec. 1094 in S. 1605, the FY22 NDAA.