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Politics Republican chides Blinken for not testifying in person about Afghanistan

03:30  14 september  2021
03:30  14 september  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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  Fact check: Biden didn't 'gift' weapons to Taliban, hasn't proposed banning pistols A widespread narrative on social media misleads on the value of military equipment left behind in Afghanistan."The current regime that just gifted the Taliban with $80+ billion worth of military grade weapons wants your 9mm pistols," reads an Aug. 17 text post on Facebook. "THINK ABOUT IT.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken was criticized by a Republican congressman for testifying virtually on the Biden administration's withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

Tony Blinken wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Washington Examiner

Rep. Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican, chastised Blinken as he testified via video call from the State Department building on Monday, blocks from where the physical hearing took place on Capitol Hill in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"Mr. Blinken, assuming it isn’t classified, can you tell us where you are today?" Perry said.

"Yes, I'm at the State Department," Blinken answered.

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  Latest on Afghanistan: Biden says US 'on a pace' for Aug. 31 pullout; Taliban block Afghans from airport Biden added the deadline depends on Taliban cooperation, and added that he has asked the Depts. of State and Defense to prepare contingency plans.His remarks from the White House came the same day the Taliban said it would stop Afghans from trying to go to the Kabul airport and told women to stay home to stay for a time to stay safe, fueling worries about how the Taliban will treat women.

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"Oh, couldn't be bothered to come down here and see Congress? All right, that's great," Perry said.

Blinken began explaining it was his understanding the House was "not in session."

"I’m right here, Mr. Secretary, so is the chairman and ranking member," Perry interrupted. "We’re here!"

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks, a New York Democrat, said the event was a "hybrid hearing," so attendees and members were given the option to attend virtually.

Overnight Defense & National Security — Blinken heads to the hot seat

  Overnight Defense & National Security — Blinken heads to the hot seat It's Tuesday, welcome to Overnight Defense & National Security, your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to appear before both chambers of Congress as questions remain on the Biden administration's messy Afghanistan withdrawal and the future of those left behind in the war-torn country.We'll share how manySecretary of State Antony Blinken is set to appear before both chambers of Congress as questions remain on the Biden administration's messy Afghanistan withdrawal and the future of those left behind in the war-torn country.

He insisted the secretary "has done no wrong" in response to a follow-up inquiry by Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican from California, who asked if Blinken was given the option to appear virtually.

During his testimony, Blinken defended the Biden administration's Afghanistan withdrawal strategy and execution.

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“We planned and exercised a wide range of contingencies. Because of that planning, we were able to draw down our embassy and move our remaining personnel to the airport within 48 hours," Blinken said. "And the military — placed on standby by the president was able to secure the airport and start the evacuation within 72 hours."

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Tags: News, Antony Blinken, Afghanistan, Congress

Original Author: Matthew Miller

Original Location: Republican chides Blinken for not testifying in person about Afghanistan

Defense secretaries in their own words: US 'invented reasons' to stay in Afghanistan .
The Taliban blitz exposes the failure of the 20-year Afghanistan war and portends terrorism threats, say former defense secretaries Panetta and Hagel.Afghan security forces, trained and equipped at the cost of $83 billion, wilted before Taliban fighters. With few exceptions, the Taliban rolled through provincial capitals without a fight despite a force of Afghan troops that was supposed to number more than 300,000.  In reality, there were far fewer Afghan forces because of desertions and commanders who reportedly pocketed the pay of ghost soldiers they had kept on rolls. For those who remained and fought, there wasn't enough ammunition and food, to say nothing of pay.

usr: 0
This is interesting!