Biden’s managers face bipartisan criticism of Afghanistan at Senate Blinken hearings


On Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken appeared before the second parliament this week — this time to address the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Blinken’s appearance in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee became hot as Democrats and Republicans filed accusations in the rival regime on Monday. The debate in the Senate was mild, but there was a fundamental disagreement over whether the crisis should be held by former President Donald Trump or Joe Biden.

Blinken defends the Biden administration

In the same prepared speech given to the House of Representatives on Monday, Blinken defended the actions of the Biden administration in Afghanistan.

He first stated that the United States has two main goals in entering Afghanistan. It “brings justice to al-Qaeda” for its role in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the country is the starting point for another such terrorist attack. According to Blinken, these goals were “completed long ago.”

Still, Blinken has shown that the current administration feels compelled to follow the agreement between Trump and the Taliban. When Biden took office and took over the transaction, he had two options. Blinken said, “Do you want to end the war or escalate it?”

Here, Blinken refers to the 2020 Trump deal with the Taliban, which would have fulfilled one of the promises of the president’s campaign to get the country out of the war.

The former president was very critical of the treatment of Biden’s withdrawal. In a discussion of the situation, Trump was open about the deal he and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made with the Taliban, which would have depended on the Taliban meeting some conditions, and his administration The treatment of situations is very different.

Blinken then pointed out the success of the administration during the crisis.

He said in March, just weeks after Biden took office, the State Department told Americans to leave the country and offered to help them do so. At the same time, he claimed that the administration worked to speed up the processing of special immigrant visas (SIVs). This is usually a long and difficult process under the law. He added that the Trump administration did little in this regard.

Blinken reiterated the often-stated refrain, stating that the rapid decline of the country’s political and military situation was contrary to all expectations. Blinken said that “even the most pessimistic predictions” did not show such a rapid collapse.

Democrats criticize Biden manager

The hearing began with words from the chairman, Senator Bob Menendez (DN.J.). Immediately after the Taliban occupied Kabul, Menendez promised to investigate US policy on Afghanistan when the Commission returned from its August recess.

Despite his general political consensus with Biden, Menendez was critical of Afghanistan’s blunder in his opening remarks. “There was clearly a fatal flaw in the execution of the US withdrawal,” Menendez said. Regarding these deficiencies, Mr Menendez said Blinken, on behalf of the administration, would have to give Congress a complete explanation of Biden’s decision.

According to Menendez, the rapid collapse of the country has shown him that “a continuous administration has lied to parliament” about the situation in Afghanistan.

“There is no such thing as a reformed Taliban,” Menendez said in a report about the Biden administration pursuing diplomatic relations with the Taliban’s terrorist organization. A strict Islamist group “stuck and rejected in the 14th century,” he continued.[s] come out. “

Menendez further dispelled the idea of ​​building diplomatic relations with terrorist groups, arguing that the administration should not only maintain existing sanctions on the country, but also send humanitarian aid to the poorest citizens in the world. bottom.

Menendez said the group would have to meet some conditions before positive relationships could be considered if the administration pursued these relationships and would recognize the Taliban as a legitimate ruler of Afghanistan. Under these conditions, Menendez completely abandoned terrorist detention, guaranteed the rights of women and minorities, abandoned drug trafficking as a form of national interest, and was truly democratic and inclusive. He mentioned building a government.

According to Menendez, the information Congress has obtained from the Biden White House is “ambiguous and inconsistent.”

After that, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (DN.H.) said, “[d] Frustration [her] colleague. “

But like many Democrats in both chambers, Shaheen felt that the responsibility was not solely with Biden, but with Trump and former presidents Barack Obama and George Bush. She said the collapse of Afghanistan came from “both Democratic and Republican regimes.”

She blew up Republicans by blocking Congress from bringing more special immigrant visa (SIV) applicants to the United States under Trump’s guidance. “I have a lot of regrets and a lot of criticism,” she said.

Near the end of the hearing, Hillary Clinton’s former running mate, moderate Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Also raised some doubts about how to respond to the administration’s situation.

Criticizing Blinken’s claim that “the most pessimistic predictions” did not show such a rapid collapse of Afghanistan, Kane said, “I don’t believe it.” He acknowledged that such a negative assessment was likely not a majority opinion, but considered it unlikely that it was not foreseen by analysts.

Meanwhile, Mr Kane said he felt that the Biden administration had left the country and made the right choice to end the longest war in the United States, despite problems with how to handle the withdrawal.

“Today, I’m relieved that the child born in Nova Fairfax isn’t in a war-torn country,” Kane said. Biden and Kane went on to have the courage to say, “This country should not be in a state of war forever.”

Still, some Democrats admitted that Biden took part in the responsibility and made a mistake in carrying out the withdrawal, but almost everyone took a lot of responsibility for the situation as well. I agreed.

Republicans continue to attack “strategic coercion errors”

Democrats tried to push in much of the blame Unpopular Republicans were far more critical of the current administration, a blunder in the Trump-era deal with the Taliban.

Senator James Riche (R-Aidaho), a minority member of the rankings, spoke first for Republicans.

Rish admitted that he supported the end of the war in Afghanistan, as many other Republicans do through hearings, but it was not the way the Biden administration provided logistics to end the war.

According to Riche, the false withdrawal of US troops was a “strategic and unforced mistake” with disastrous consequences. Among these, Riche warned that the Taliban’s withdrawal and return created a “safe haven for terrorists.” In addition, Mr. Riche said US allies’ confidence in the nation was “shattered.”

Rish said he felt that Biden should be held head-on as the incumbent president, rather than being brushed by Trump. “The preventable tragedy that took place at the airport in Kabul was a disaster of leadership and the creation of the government itself,” he claimed. He further emphasized that “only the Biden administration is responsible for this blunder and its consequences.”

Senator Marcio Rubio, Florida, then expressed concern about the government’s lack of preparedness for the country’s rapid collapse.

He mentioned some of the ratings he saw that would “attack the fans.” Rubio went on to say that these assessments “had good reason to plan a rapid collapse of the Afghan government and military.”

Rubio accused Biden of relying on “naive optimistic predictions” to advance his plans to leave the country by the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack. “Someone didn’t see this, or someone didn’t want to see it,” Rubio ruled.

Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) Also added that Blinken and Biden presented the situation as a “great success” rather than an “extreme failure”, indicating a serious “separation from reality.” rice field. Senator John Barrasso (Republican) commented on the same subject that this positive spin of the crisis was “a lie in the 21st century” and “a delusion.”

Barasso also added to Blinken, “You almost struck your back and broke your shoulder because of the wonderful work you did.”

Rand Paul heated up the exchange with Blinken

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Who has long opposed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, said he was pleased with the end of the 20-year conflict. But he went on to say, “Never in my worst nightmare,” the administration would have a “huge incompetence” that would leave the Taliban with billions of dollars in military equipment.

Another example of this “huge incompetence” was the sudden decision to abandon Bagram airfield without warning, Paul said. He called it “one of the worst military decisions in our history” and warned Blinken that “it will be remembered by people.”

Paul also New York Times The missile attack killed aid workers after being mistaken for an ISIS-K operative carrying a bomb. When Paul asked Blinken about the truth of the story, Blinken refused to comment except saying that the State Department was investigating the situation.

“Before using a predator missile,” Paul jokingly said, “You probably know,” whether the person is an aid worker or an ISIS-K terrorist.

Paul, who often opposes such indiscriminate bombing, warns that the report is true and that the administration could “create hundreds or thousands of new terrorists” if aid workers are killed. bottom.

Instead, Paul suggested that the government should have focused on bombing the remaining helicopters and other military equipment, rather than bombing someone who was unidentified.

Josef Lord

Josef Lord is a parliamentary reporter for The Epoch Times, which focuses on the Democratic Party. He has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Clemson University and was a scholar in the Lyceum Program.