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Top Democrat joins Republicans to criticise Blinken on Afghanistan withdrawal

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Robert Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called the withdrawal “clearly and fatally flawed” and scorched President Joe Biden and his team for failing to anticipate the Taliban’s speedy takeover of Afghanistan. The New Jersey Senator also threatened to subpoena Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who he said declined an invitation to testify alongside Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“This rapid collapse laid bare a fundamental fact — that successive administrations lied to the Congress over the years about the durability of Afghan military and government institutions and we need to understand why,” Menendez said.

It was a bipartisan challenge, a day after Blinken testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where Republicans attacked the administration and demanded Blinken’s resignation while Democrats largely blamed former President Donald Trump for the deal his administration cut with the Taliban last year for the U.S. to withdraw.

Repeatedly questioned about the failure to predict the rapid Taliban advance, Blinken said there was nothing the administration saw that “suggested that this Government and security forces would collapse in a matter of days”

“We need to look back at all of this,” Blinken said. “We did not see this collapse in a matter of 11 days but it is important that we go back and look at all of this. – THE HINDUSTAN TIMES

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