Blinken to defend Afghan policy before skeptical Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) – Secretary of State Antony Blinken has pushed back against harsh Republican criticism of the Biden administration’s handling of the military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

In a sometimes contentious hearing on Monday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Blinken sought to blunt complaints from angry GOP lawmakers about the administration’s response to the quick collapse of the Afghan government and, more specifically, the State Department’s actions to evacuate Americans and others from Afghanistan.

Blinken echoed White House talking points blaming the Trump administration for the situation that President Joe Biden inherited in Afghanistan.

Republicans savaged the withdrawal as “a disaster” and “a disgrace."

Blinken’s department has come under heavy criticism from both Republicans and Democrats for not doing enough and not acting quickly enough to get American citizens, legal residents and at-risk Afghans out of the country after the Taliban took control of Kabul on Aug. 15.