Blinken Testifies In Front Of Congress

Latest Video

Blinken defends United States withdrawal from Afghanistan in front of Congress

By Ben Burke (Producer)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken defended the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Monday. The video above shows some of the testimony from Blinken and members of the committee

The withdrawal has been widely criticized. Republicans on the committee used Monday’s hearing to take more shots at the administration.

“The president refused to listen to his own generals and the intelligence community who warned him precisely what would happen when we withdrew,” U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul said. “This was an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions.”

However, Blinken said that was not the case. “Even the most pessimistic assessments did not predict that government forces in Kabul would collapse while U.S. forces remain,” Blinken said. “As General Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has said, nothing I or anyone else saw indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days.”

Even Democrats said the operation could have been handled better. “Could things have been done differently? Absolutely,” U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks said. However, he disagreed with the idea that troops could’ve remained past President Joe Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline to complete the withdrawal.

“The choice before President Biden was between a full withdrawal and the surging of thousands of Americans to Afghanistan for an undefined time,” Rep. Meeks said. “To argue that there was a third option, a limited troop presence where the safety of our personnel could be preserve in my mind is a fantasy.”

In his testimony before questioning  began, Blinken talked more about the choice the president had regarding Afghanistan. “Had he not followed through on his predecessor’s commitment, attacks on our forces and those our allies would have resumed and the Taliban’s nationwide assault on Afghanistan’s major cities would have commenced,” Blinked said. “That would have required sending substantially more U.S. forces into Afghanistan to defend themselves and prevent a Taliban takeover, taking casualties, and with at best prospect restoring a stalemate and remaining stuck in Afghanistan under fire indefinitely.”

Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State: “Upon taking office, President Biden immediately faced the choice between ending the war or escalating it. Had he not followed through on his predecessor’s commitment, attacks on our forces and those our allies would have resumed and the Taliban’s nationwide assault on Afghanistan’s major cities would have commenced. That would have required sending substantially more U.S. forces into Afghanistan to defend themselves and prevent a Taliban takeover, taking casualties, and with at best prospect restoring a stalemate and remaining stuck in Afghanistan under fire indefinitely. There’s no evidence that staying longer would have made the Afghan security forces or the Afghan government any more resilient or self-sustaining. If 20 years and hundreds of billions of dollars in support, equipment and training did not suffice, why would another year, another five, another 10?

“Even the most pessimistic assessments did not predict that government forces in Kabul would collapse while U.S. forces remain. As General Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said, nothing I or anyone else saw indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days.”

“The evacuation itself was an extraordinary effort under the most difficult conditions imaginable by our diplomats, by our military, by our intelligence professionals. They worked around the clock to get American citizens, Afghans who helped us, citizens of our allies and partners and at-risk Afghans on planes, out of the country and off to the United States, or to transit locations that our diplomats had arranged and negotiated in multiple countries.”

Rep. Gregory Meeks, (D) New York, Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee: “The choice before President Biden was between a full withdrawal and the surging of thousands of Americans to Afghanistan for an undefined time. To argue that there was a third option, a limited troop presence where the safety of our personnel could be preserve in my mind is a fantasy.”

Rep. Michael McCaul, (R) Texas, Ranking Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee: “This did not have to happen. But the president refused to listen to his own generals and the intelligence community who warned him precisely what would happen when we withdrew. This was an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions. I never thought in my lifetime that I would see an unconditional surrender to the Taliban.”

Comments are still pending approval. Rate this story to add your own thoughts below.

Comments are still pending approval. Rate this story to add your own thoughts below.

Comments are still pending approval. Rate this story to add your own thoughts below.

Comments are still pending approval. Rate this story to add your own thoughts below.

lock

Watch the video to unlock rating

Your Rating

Rating closes in 4 days

Total User Rating

eye icon

Rate to reveal

Community ratings are revealed after you rate the story.

comment bubbles

Secretary of State Antony Blinken defended the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Monday. The video above shows some of the testimony from Blinken and members of the committee

The withdrawal has been widely criticized. Republicans on the committee used Monday’s hearing to take more shots at the administration.

“The president refused to listen to his own generals and the intelligence community who warned him precisely what would happen when we withdrew,” U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul said. “This was an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions.”

However, Blinken said that was not the case. “Even the most pessimistic assessments did not predict that government forces in Kabul would collapse while U.S. forces remain,” Blinken said. “As General Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has said, nothing I or anyone else saw indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days.”

Even Democrats said the operation could have been handled better. “Could things have been done differently? Absolutely,” U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks said. However, he disagreed with the idea that troops could’ve remained past President Joe Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline to complete the withdrawal.

“The choice before President Biden was between a full withdrawal and the surging of thousands of Americans to Afghanistan for an undefined time,” Rep. Meeks said. “To argue that there was a third option, a limited troop presence where the safety of our personnel could be preserve in my mind is a fantasy.”

In his testimony before questioning  began, Blinken talked more about the choice the president had regarding Afghanistan. “Had he not followed through on his predecessor’s commitment, attacks on our forces and those our allies would have resumed and the Taliban’s nationwide assault on Afghanistan’s major cities would have commenced,” Blinked said. “That would have required sending substantially more U.S. forces into Afghanistan to defend themselves and prevent a Taliban takeover, taking casualties, and with at best prospect restoring a stalemate and remaining stuck in Afghanistan under fire indefinitely.”

Community Rating

Community ratings are revealed after you rate the story.

lock

Watch the video to unlock rating

Rate the bias

Keep us honest! Let us know if you thought this video was neutral or biased.

Comments are still pending approval. Rate this story to add your own thoughts below.