Afghanistan blame sport shifts to Congress as Blinken testifies


WASHINGTON:

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will testify twice to Congress this week in regards to the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, as lawmakers kick off what might be an extended collection of high-intensity hearings in regards to the chaotic finish to America’s longest struggle.

Members of Congress – President Joe Biden’s fellow Democrats in addition to opposition Republicans – have deliberate hearings for the reason that Taliban seized management of the nation final month after a speedy advance.

Blinken will seem on Monday earlier than the Home of Representatives International Affairs Committee and on Tuesday earlier than the Senate International Relations Committee, the primary Biden administration official to testify publicly to lawmakers for the reason that group’s takeover.

Fireworks are anticipated, given the quantity of finger-pointing over how the two-decade-long US presence within the nation ended. Some Republicans have referred to as on Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Blinken to resign.

“We anticipate a confrontational listening to,” a Senate aide stated.

Members of Congress ready an extended record of questions for the veteran diplomat in regards to the speedy collapse of the US-backed Afghan authorities and the Biden administration’s scramble to evacuate greater than 142,000 folks, together with Individuals, at-risk Afghans and others wishing to flee the Taliban.

“I think about there will probably be plenty of questions on what selections have been being made main as much as the withdrawal, together with why the White Home pressed DOD (the Defence Division) to withdraw troops earlier than we evacuated American civilians and our Afghan companions,” Consultant Michael McCaul, the highest Republican on the Home committee, stated in a written reply to a request for touch upon the listening to.

He stated he additionally needed to know why property just like the Bagram Air Base weren’t maintained and why the administration had not reached surveillance and counterterrorism agreements with neighbouring nations.

McCaul added that he anticipated questions on what occurred at Kabul’s airport in the course of the evacuation forward of the administration’s Aug 31 deadline to depart the nation. 13 US troops and dozens of Afghans have been killed in a suicide bombing amid the chaos.

“All of us wish to know what State (Division) is doing to satisfy President Biden’s promise to get the remaining Individuals, inexperienced card holders and our Afghan companions overseas earlier than it’s too late,” McCaul stated.

20 years involvement

Democrats stated they needed the listening to to handle not simply the seven months that Biden was president earlier than Kabul was captured by the Taliban however your complete 20 years of US involvement within the nation – underneath 4 presidents from each events.

A US-led invasion toppled the Taliban in 2001 after the Sept 11 assaults that have been masterminded by al Qaeda leaders primarily based in Afghanistan.

“My worry is that Republicans are going to show this right into a circus and attempt to put the blame on Joe Biden for 20 years’ value of errors in Afghanistan,” Senator Chris Murphy, a Democratic member of the international relations panel, informed reporters on a convention name.

Murphy, who agreed with the choice to withdraw fairly than “keep perpetually,” stated he didn’t need the listening to to focus solely on the evacuation.

“The actual query is why did we keep in Afghanistan for an additional 10 years after we knew that there was going to be no approach we may construct an Afghan navy, an Afghan authorities that was able to holding the nation in opposition to the Taliban as soon as we left,” Murphy stated.

One other committee Democrat, Senator Chris Van Hollen, famous that Republican former president Donald Trump had pushed to get out of Afghanistan much more rapidly and criticised Biden for remaining so long as he did.

“It is somewhat exhausting to take and hearken to Republican colleagues who strongly supported the Trump selections to now be attacking President Biden for selections that that they had beforehand supported,” he stated on the identical name.

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