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Blinken under fire over chaotic US troop pullout

15 Sep 2021 - 09:11
15 Sep 2021 - 09:11

KABUL (Pajhwok): Secretary of State Antony Blinken has had a tough time for the second day answering a volley of bipartisan congressional queries about the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee grilled Blinken hard and fast on the hasty pullout. As a day earlier, he was vehemently slammed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Even legislators who supported President Joe Biden’s decision on the pullout from Afghanistan hit out at the administration’s ham-handed handling of the hasty troop exit.

The Associated Press quoted committee chairman Sen. Bob Menendez said: “The execution of the US withdrawal was clearly and fatally flawed.”

He added: “This committee expects to receive a full explanation of this administration’s decisions on Afghanistan since coming into office last January. There has to be accountability.”

Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, the top Republican on the panel, denounced the US withdrawal as a dismal failure. All Republicans blasted the administration for its ineptitude that has cost the IS international credibility.

However, Blinken hit out at the Trump administration for its February 2020 peace deal with the Taliban. The agreement had tied Biden’s hands, he claimed.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz panned the withdrawal “the worst foreign policy catastrophe in a generation”. He also criticised the Biden government for being naive in taking at face value the Taliban’s promises of moderation.

For his part, the secretary of state Blinken insisted the pullout and the end of America’s longest war was the right thing to do after 20 years.

PAN Monitor/mud

 

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