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Report: Blinken Defends Afghanistan Withdrawal in First of Congressional Hearing Marathons Blinken Defends Afghanistan Withdrawal in Fi... | View Comments ()
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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken defended the Biden administration’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan during a contentious hearing on Capitol Hill, the opening salvo of a slew of congressional hearings aimed at addressing how a 20-year, more than $2 trillion war could end in a full-fledged Taliban victory.
Blinken told lawmakers the Biden administration did the best it could to rapidly evacuate as many Americans and vulnerable Afghans as possible given the rapid collapse of the Afghan government in the face of a rapid Taliban offensive. He also portrayed U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw as the least bad option left available to the United States after two decades of conflict.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump brokered a Feb. 2020 peace deal with the Taliban that gave the terrorist group political legitimacy, forced the Afghan government to free 5,000 Taliban fighters, and mandated a quick withdrawal of all U.S. fighting forces—with no plans for the country’s future stability. Biden ultimately kept U.S. forces in place for several months longer but still opted to pull out under the Trump deal’s broad terms.
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