The secretary of state appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday and for the second day in a row faced questions from Republican lawmakers who are strongly critical of the Biden administration’s decision to leave Afghanistan.
In his opening remarks, Bob Menendez, Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, threatened to summon Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and other Biden administration officials to refrain from appearing before the committee, according to News i. he does.
“The implementation of the US exit plan was clearly a deadly flaw,” Menendez told Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. The American politician said that officials who “lied” about the stability of the Afghan government would be held accountable, and that Lloyd Austin’s refusal would affect “my personal judgment on the choices of the Department of Defense.”
Blinken said the US government had begun planning for “worst-case scenarios” in Afghanistan in the spring and summer, including a plan to evacuate the US embassy in Kabul within 48 hours and take control of Kabul airport.
The secretary of state declined to comment on the July 13 document released by the ministry, warning of the imminent fall of the Afghan government shortly after the US withdrawal, saying it was prepared to be presented to senior ministry officials.
Anthony Blinken also said that most of the $ 80 billion worth of equipment in the hands of the Taliban was “non-commissionable” and that none of it was a “strategic threat” to the United States or Afghanistan’s neighbors.
Asked by Sen. Chris Murphy, one of Biden’s key allies in the decision to withdraw, the secretary of state said 2,400 US troops were not enough to prevent the country from falling to the Taliban and more were needed.
During a five-hour meeting Monday with members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Blinken defended almost every aspect of the evacuation and evacuation operation, saying that the situation could be handled differently, despite widespread criticism and angry Republican demands for his resignation. Did not express.