Joe Biden’s top foreign policy adviser will testify about the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Antony Blinken is widely expected to be strongly criticized when he appears before the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate on Sept. 14 and 15.
Republicans will seize on their opportunity to grill the secretary of state about the chaotic evacuation of U.S. troops and Afghan allies from Kabul.
The State Department’s failure to evacuate all asylum seekers before August 31 is likely to be a hot topic. U.S. citizens, green card holders, and Afghan allies were stranded in the Taliban-controlled Middle Eastern country after U.S. forces left. GOP lawmakers want to know exactly how this happened.
“I have a lot of questions for Antony Blinken, as do all of the Republicans,” Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) told Fox News’s “Fox Report.” “I am sure many of our Democratic friends [have questions] as well.”
Tenney also wants Blinken to state whether he will officially recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government even though it is a “terrorist organization.” The newly announced Taliban cabinet includes Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is still on the FBI’s most wanted list.
Republicans also plan to question Blinken about $80 billion of abandoned U.S. military equipment, including weapons and aircraft, which ended up in Taliban hands.
Axios speculates Blinken will defend his stewardship, reject blame for his and the Biden administration’s actions, and shift responsibility to the past 20 years of bipartisan mistakes. He is also expected to criticize President Donald Trump for striking a deal to withdraw U.S. troops in exchange for the Taliban not attacking Americans.
He will also applaud the evacuation as an “extraordinary effort.”
“Even the most pessimistic assessments did not predict that government forces in Kabul would collapse while U.S. forces remained,” he is speculated to announce.
The Democrat previously admitted the Biden administration does not know precisely how many Americans are still stranded and were evacuated. He stressed State Department estimates are “dynamic,” sparking outrage among those who were already critical of the Biden administration’s actions.
Qatar has helped civilians leave Afghanistan through Qatar Airways. Others have been able to flee through surface transport.