WASHINGTON – On Monday, Secretary of State Anthony Brinken countered the Republican Party’s harsh criticism of the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, saying that the Biden administration had inherited an agreement with the Taliban to end the war, but had no plans to implement the agreement.
At a sometimes controversial hearing on the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday, Brinken tried to quell complaints from angry Republicans about the government’s response to the rapid collapse of the Afghan government, and more specifically, the State Department’s evacuation of Americans and others. action.
Brinken responded to the talking points of the White House, accusing the Trump administration of blaming the Trump administration for the situation inherited by President Joe Biden in Afghanistan. “We inherited the deadline. We did not inherit a plan,” he said, insisting that the government did the right thing in ending the 20-year war.
“We made the right decision to end the longest-running war in the United States,” said Brinken, who will testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday.
Republicans call the exit process “disaster” and “disgrace.” Although some Democrats believe that this action can be better handled, many have used their problems to criticize former President Donald Trump.
After the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15, the State Department was severely criticized by both parties for not doing enough and acting quickly to get U.S. citizens, legal residents, and Afghans in danger to leave the country. Some seeking to leave are still stranded there, although Brinken could not provide an exact figure. He said that about 100 American citizens and about “thousands” of green card holders stayed with them.
“This is an unprecedented disaster,” said Rep. Michael McCall of Texas, the top Republican on the committee. He said that the sudden withdrawal of troops and leaving some Americans and Afghans behind “makes the Taliban” and other American opponents more daring. “I can sum it up in one word: betrayal.”
His Republican colleagues Steve Chabot of Ohio and Lizelding of New York were more straightforward. “It’s a shame,” Chabot said. Zeldin said: “This is a fatal flaw and poor execution.” “Sir, I think you should resign. That will be leadership.”
The chairman of the committee and New York State Representative Gregory Meeks urged his colleagues not to criticize politics. But he admitted that there was a problem. “Can things be different? Absolutely,” he said.
Republican Representative Adam Kinsinger of Illinois was rejected by many Republicans for criticizing Trump. He blamed Trump and Biden for this situation. “The Trump administration has failed in setup, and the Biden administration has failed in execution,” Kinsinger said.
Blincoln tried to calmly transfer the allegations of insufficient preparation, pointing out that the Biden administration had inherited the U.S.-Taliban peace agreement from its predecessor and a plan to issue visas to Afghans working for the U.S. government.
Brinken publicly predicted in June that the complete Taliban takeover will not occur “from Friday to Monday”. He also tried to preemptively criticize this prediction, pointing out that no one in the US government expected the Afghan government to collapse so quickly. As it does.
“Even the most pessimistic assessment did not predict the collapse of the government forces in Kabul, while the U.S. forces still exist,” Brinken said in a prepared speech before his appearance. He also defended the evacuation efforts, saying that despite the difficulties, he succeeded.
He said: “Under the most difficult conditions imaginable, the evacuation is an extraordinary effort by our diplomats, military and intelligence professionals.” “In the end, we completed one of the largest airlifts in history, evacuating 124,000 people to safety. zone.”
But Republicans in particular have been asking for answers to why American citizens were left behind in the chaos of the days and weeks before the troop withdrawal was completed on August 30.
In a preview of the Republican issue, the Republican National Committee issued a statement earlier Monday, titled “Fire Blinken,” demanding that he be held accountable for the series of failures it described.
After more than five hours of hearings, the Republican Committee doubled its requirements.
“Today’s hearing will make Blincoln’s failure and lies very clear,” said RNC Chairman Rona McDaniel. “Biden has no choice but to fire Brinken, hold him accountable, and be responsible for the disaster he caused.”
Some Republicans seem to be ready to fight the generally calm Blincoln. Florida Rep. Brian Master accused Brinken of lying because he denied that intelligence had been manipulated to support Biden’s desire to withdraw troops. “I don’t believe a word of what you said,” he told Brinken.
Brinken rarely lost his temper and replied: “Simply put, the congressman you are talking about is very wrong.”
Brinken and Biden are very close, and his job as the top US diplomat is almost certainly safe, but criticism of the government’s handling of Afghanistan’s troop withdrawal is not limited to Republicans.
Many Democrats have also questioned the policy and expressed concern about stranded Americans, green card holders and Afghans who may face retaliation from the Taliban for their work in the past 20 years or their relationship with the US government.
State Department officials acknowledge that congressional hearings may be controversial and may be ugly, but many people still believe that the U.S. military and other officials have done their best under extremely difficult circumstances-including the withdrawal of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and Thousands of desperate people were crushed at Kabul airport seeking to leave the country.