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Secretary of State Blinken Defends U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan

HeadlineSep 14, 2021

On Capitol Hill, Secretary of State Antony Blinken defended the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, telling the House Foreign Affairs Committee that no one in the Biden administration predicted the Afghan government would collapse while U.S. troops were still in Kabul. During his opening remarks Monday, Blinken said by remaining in Afghanistan, the U.S. military would have only delayed the Taliban’s inevitable takeover.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “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?”

Blinken blamed the chaotic U.S. withdrawal on the Trump administration, saying, “We inherited a deadline. We did not inherit a plan.” At least two Republicans called on Blinken to resign. Blinken is testifying to the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee today. 

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