Secretary of State Antony Blinken is testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where he is expected to face an intense grilling about the Biden administration’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of the country and about the policy and intelligence failures leading up to the tumultuous conclusion of America’s longest war.
Blinken’s virtual appearance before the House panel is his first congressional hearing this week on the topic. On Tuesday he will testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In his opening statement to lawmakers, Blinken defends the timing of the withdrawal and blames the Taliban’s lightning-fast takeover of the country on the Afghan government and the collapse of the country’s national security forces.
“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,