US Secretary of State Antony Blinken denied accusations of a botched retreat from Afghanistan, blaming the Trump administration for any failures and saying Washington is concentrated on defending LGBTQ and different weak Afghans.
“Thanks for rightly placing the highlight on considerations concerning the LGBTQI+ group in Afghanistan and the actual menace that they discover themselves beneath,” Blinken instructed US Consultant David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island) on Monday in a Home listening to on the Afghan withdrawal.
That is one thing that we’re centered on.
.@SecBlinken: “The LGBTQI group in Afghanistan … is one thing that we’re centered on.” pic.twitter.com/RJgitvJAI9
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 13, 2021
It’s not clear how Blinken intends to guard LGBTQ and different weak Afghans, because the Taliban retook management of Afghanistan even earlier than President Joe Biden’s administration may full its exit. The administration on Monday introduced $64 million in new humanitarian help to the nation, saying the cash can be routed to charities and UN businesses to keep away from letting it get into the fingers of the Taliban.
USAID, led by notable interventionist Samantha Energy, will ship the cash via nongovernmental organizations to “present life-saving help on to Afghans dealing with the compounding results of insecurity, battle, recurring pure disasters and the Covid-19 pandemic,” based on the announcement.
Blinken implied the US has some stage of leverage over the Taliban, even whereas acknowledging that the Islamist group has prevented some Individuals and US allies from leaving the nation on constitution flights.
Secretary Blinken simply acknowledged the Taliban has blocked constitution flights out of Afghanistan, with Individuals nonetheless there attempting to get out. We’re in a hostage disaster. And at the moment Joe Biden is campaigning in California.
— Mark Meadows (@MarkMeadows) September 13, 2021
“We count on the Taliban to make sure freedom of journey, to make good on its commitments on counter-terrorism, to uphold the fundamental rights of the Afghan individuals – together with ladies, ladies and minorities – to call a broadly consultant everlasting authorities,” the secretary mentioned. “The legitimacy and help the Taliban seeks from the worldwide group will rely upon its conduct.”
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Blinken admitted that about 100 Americans and “a number of thousand” authorized everlasting US residents stay in Afghanistan.
Dozens of Afghans died within the early days of the chaotic US withdrawal, and 170 had been killed within the August 26 suicide bombing at Kabul airport, together with 13 American troops. However Blinken rejected Republican calls to resign and deflected criticism, saying Biden was left with a alternative of honoring a peace deal that former president Donald Trump’s administration negotiated with the Taliban or sending a 3rd technology of American troops to proceed preventing America’s longest struggle.
We inherited a deadline, we didn’t inherit a plan.
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) identified that Biden dismantled virtually each different Trump-era coverage, together with border-security measures, then blamed his predecessor when he adopted via on ending the struggle.
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Monday’s listening to was largely a collection of Democrats thanking Blinken and criticizing Trump’s peace cope with the Taliban, adopted by Republicans blasting intelligence and planning failures in the course of the withdrawal. Congressman Scott Perry (R-Pennsylvania) slammed the secretary for testifying remotely from the State Division, saying, “Couldn’t be bothered to return down right here and see Congress? Alright, that’s nice.”
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) known as the withdrawal an “unmitigated catastrophe of epic proportions” and a “betrayal” of Afghan allies. He mentioned the US had misplaced to terrorists, emboldening the Taliban and its adversaries within the area.
“This is a vital query and one which in its element and substance I believe we have to take up in one other setting,” Blinken mentioned.
.@RepMcCaul: "Is it true that President Putin threatened the president of the US, saying he couldn’t construct intelligence capabilities within the area?"
Blinken: "This is a vital query & one which…we have to take up in" a labeled setting pic.twitter.com/TlIOR9JznP
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) September 13, 2021
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