(ReliableNews.org) – Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have criticized the way President Joe Biden pulled out of Afghanistan. GOP lawmakers have even demanded he fire his national security team. House Republicans finally got their chance to demand answers from one of those officials.
On September 13, Secretary of State Antony Blinken defended the troop withdrawal and civilian evacuation from Afghanistan while testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Blinken tried to blame the administration’s botched efforts on former President Donald Trump’s prior agreement with the Taliban. According to Blinken, the Taliban made it “abundantly clear” that they would hold the US to its agreement to withdraw American forces by the August 31 deadline.
Republicans didn’t buy that argument and called for Blinken’s resignation. Instead, they accused him and other administration officials of betraying American service members. They accused the Biden administration of deliberately misrepresenting intelligence reports to present an overly optimistic assessment of the likelihood the Afghan military and government could maintain control of the country.
"This was an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions. I never thought in my lifetime that I would see an unconditional surrender to the Taliban." – @RepMcCaul on President Biden's disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/fc3WIO7wup
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) September 13, 2021
Several committee members addressed Blinken’s failures during the hearing. For instance, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) pointed out that Americans don’t like it when terrorists win, which is exactly what happened in Afghanistan. Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) didn’t hold anything back when she had her chance to question Blinken. She told him the administration’s failed Afghan withdrawal “left America and the world a much less safe place.”
Republicans also expressed deep concerns regarding the number of American and Afghan allies abandoned by the Biden administration. Blinken maintains only about 100 remain stranded while other estimates go as high as about 1,000 individuals.
Blinken will testify at two more hearings in the coming days.
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