Blinken Pummeled Over Afghanistan Withdrawal on Capitol Hill

Blinken Pummeled Over Afghanistan Withdrawal on Capitol Hill

No one person or political party is solely to blame for the fallout from America’s longest war, but responsibility for the fatally flawed withdraw rests predominately with the Biden administration.

In an attempt to divert blame before the , Secretary of State tried shifting scrutiny to the Trump administration’s U.S.-Taliban peace agreement.

Blinken told members of the committee that the Trump deal kept the Taliban from attacking U.S. forces, their allies, and urban centers. However, he added that it did nothing to diminish the Taliban’s ability to grow its support in Afghanistan’s rural areas, which make up three-quarters of the country.

The response from senators upset over the botched withdrawal and subsequent evacuation stand-off involving hundreds of Americans was less than sympathetic.

As Fox News reports:

Committee leaders from both parties put pressure on the administration early on in the hearing. Chairman Sen. , D-N.J., said that no country should recognize the Taliban government until it meets various criteria related to democracy and equality. He also said that he is “very disappointed” that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin did not accept the committee’s invitation to appear before lawmakers at the hearing.

“A full accounting of the U.S. response to this crisis is not complete without the Pentagon,” he said.

Ranking member Sen. , R-Idaho, pushed back against the narrative that the current situation was due to the Trump administration’s agreement with the Taliban. He said that deal “was contingent” on the Taliban reducing violence and that if they failed there would be “grave, grave” consequences.

Risch later questioned who was really making the decisions in the administration regarding the withdrawal.

Blinken responded by saying that while President Biden was the final arbiter, subsidiary issues were resolved by people closer to the action on the ground.

Senators continue to press for answers at this hour as calls for Blinken’s resignation grow in the House of Representatives, where at least three GOP congressmen are demanding he step down.