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Top US diplomat justifies America’s defeat in Afghanistan

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Members watch US Secretary of State Antony Blinken testify virtually in a House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill on September 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is defending US “legacy” in Afghanistan after American forces’ defeat in the country and the swift takeover of the Taliban.

The US top diplomat appeared before the House Foreign Affairs Committee to justify the Biden administration’s chaotic handling of withdrawal from the war-ravaged country.

“We will continue to help Americans – and Afghans to whom we have a special commitment – depart Afghanistan if they choose,” Blinken told the Democratic-controlled House. “There is no deadline to this mission.”

The Democratic administration of President Joe Biden is being grilled by the fellow liberals as well as minority Republicans as the US struggles to justify its defeat in Afghanistan after two decades of war, which failed in the face of Taliban’s return to power.

Blinken will also be on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to face lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, trying to distance themselves from the defeat and highlight the Biden administration’s role in the US embarrassment thousands of miles away.

“My working hypothesis was that most of the dysfunction we saw was the result of State Department leadership — or lack thereof — rather than the Pentagon. But I don’t think that means the Pentagon gets a pass on investigation from Congress,” said GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin.

Evacuating remaining Americans and US supporters was among other issues Blinken was being grilled for.

"We inherited a deadline, not a plan," said Blinken.

Biden’s exit, which effectively ended the United States’ two-decade war in Afghanistan, has led to  an infighting in the US, some of which could be witnessed in the two-day testimony in Congress, where politicians pin blame on each other for the return of the Taliban to power.

The Congress blame game also stretched to the previous administration, which clinched a deal with Taliban mandating a US withdrawal by the US government.

"It's a little hard to take and listen to Republican colleagues who strongly supported the Trump decisions to now be attacking President Biden for decisions that they had previously supported," he said on the same call.

After two decades of war on Afghanistan, more than 6,000 Americans and 100,000 local Afghans were killed, according to official estimates.

"The American people do not like to lose. Especially to the terrorists," Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.


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