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US Was Prepared On Afghanistan, Says Antony Blinken Throughout Congress Grilling – NewsEverything World

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Afghan disaster: Antony Blinken is dealing with two days of grilling by congressional committees. (File)

Washington: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday insisted that the Biden administration had ready for worst-case situations in Afghanistan as irate lawmakers accused the White Home of presiding over a historic catastrophe.

The famously even-tempered US diplomat is dealing with two days of grilling by congressional committees, the primary alternative by lawmakers to straight problem President Joe Biden’s administration over his finish to the 20-year warfare that introduced a swift victory to the Taliban.

Blinken advised the Home International Affairs Committee that the Biden administration was “intensely centered” on the security of Individuals and had been “continually assessing” the endurance of the Western-backed authorities.

“Even essentially the most pessimistic assessments didn’t predict that authorities forces in Kabul would collapse whereas US forces remained,” Blinken stated.

“Nonetheless, we deliberate and exercised a variety of contingencies,” he stated.

“The evacuation itself was a unprecedented effort — below essentially the most troublesome situations possible — by our diplomats, by our navy, by our intelligence professionals.”

Blinken stated that prior planning made it attainable to attract down the embassy inside 48 hours, and safe the airport and begin evacuations inside 72 hours.

The USA and its allies finally evacuated 124,000 folks out of Afghanistan, one of many largest airlifts in historical past.

The administration says solely round 100 US residents stay and that each one had been contacted repeatedly by US diplomats, with some leaving after the withdrawal in keeping with guarantees by the Taliban.

‘Unmitigated Catastrophe’

Lawmakers of the rival Republican social gathering, seeing a vulnerability for Biden, have portrayed the operation as chaotic and accused the president of abandoning Individuals to the destiny of the Taliban.

“This was an unmitigated catastrophe of epic proportions,” stated Consultant Mike McCaul, the highest Republican on the committee.

“I by no means thought in my lifetime that I might see an unconditional give up to the Taliban,” he stated.

Former president Donald Trump had agreed in February 2020 to the withdrawal and Blinken’s predecessor Mike Pompeo met the Taliban to finalize the deal, which nonetheless set situations for US forces to go away.

“We inherited a deadline; we didn’t inherit a plan,” Blinken stated.

However McCaul accused the Biden administration of ignoring US generals and intelligence and accused the US of a “betrayal” of its Afghan allies.

He identified that the Taliban’s caretaker authorities consists of figures needed by the US together with the brand new interim inside minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, whose arrest is sought by Washington on terrorism allegations.

“We at the moment are on the mercy of the Taliban’s reign of terror,” McCaul stated, warning of a “darkish veil of sharia regulation” because the Taliban reinstitute their draconian therapy of ladies.

Blinken stated the Taliban had violated phrases of Trump’s deal however that Biden confronted a alternative of finishing up a pullout or sending “considerably extra” US troops into hurt’s manner, perpetuating America’s longest warfare.

“There isn’t any proof that staying longer would have made the Afghan safety forces or the Afghan authorities any extra resilient or self-sustaining,” Blinken stated.

“If 20 years and a whole lot of billions of {dollars} in help, gear and coaching didn’t suffice, why would one other 12 months, one other 5, one other 10?”

Consultant Gregory Meeks, the Democrat who led the committee, accused Republicans of getting been silent when Trump and Pompeo pursued the identical insurance policies on Afghanistan.

“Disentangling ourselves from Afghanistan was by no means going to be straightforward,” Meeks stated.

“I might welcome listening to what precisely a easy withdrawal from a messy, chaotic 20-year warfare appears to be like like,” he stated. “I do not consider one exists.”

(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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