Blinken receives Congressional wrath on Afghanistan: We had no options

September 14, 2021 by archyde
For the second day in a row, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is facing a fierce questioning campaign in the US Senate, about the file of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and its consequences.

And Blinken stood before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, after receiving and President Joe Biden, a scathing attack by some members of Congress, of the outcome of the withdrawal plan from Kabul.

Republican Representative Marco Rubio launched a fierce attack on Blinken, saying that “since 2020, the status quo has been really bad in Afghanistan (…) and it is disturbing that no one has seen all this and concluded that there is no evidence or no reason to believe that it could happen. Rapid collapse.

Rubio stressed that if the United States did not see this intelligence, “we have the wrong people in charge.”

For his part, Blinken did not deny Rubio’s accusations, and stressed that the situation had already been deteriorating since last July, as the Taliban made progress on the ground, adding that “all of this must be reconsidered,” referring to assessments of the intelligence community.

But Blinken refused to blame the intelligence service for the failure, saying that the latter “does not see that the situation will collapse within days (…) and in the worst-case scenario, he did not expect the collapse of the Afghan forces against the Taliban within 11 days.”

He explained that “there were only two options in Afghanistan for the Biden administration, either withdrawal or military escalation,” adding that the decision to withdraw troops “was in coordination with NATO, the European Union and the rest of our allies.”

The council asked Blinken to share with them the cable of the “Afghan opposition”, which warned of a faster “Taliban” seizure of power in Afghanistan. It has a “scary effect” among diplomats who want to share their ideas without fear of repercussions.

In another context, Democratic Senator Bob Menendez said he was “very disappointed” that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin refused the committee’s request to testify on Afghanistan today.

Menendez said he might summon Austin, and other officials, to testify about the 20-year US operation in Afghanistan. He added that this would affect his personal judgment of Defense Ministry candidates.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my