Blinken to defend Biden on Afghanistan at hearing

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to defend the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of U.S. involvement ahead of what is sure to be sharp questioning from lawmakers of both parties frustrated with the chaotic departure.

Blinken will appear before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Monday after an evacuation effort that airlifted 124,000 people out of the country — but that still left many vulnerable Afghans behind.

“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, why would another year, or five, or ten, make a difference?” Blinken wrote in his opening testimony shared ahead of the Monday afternoon hearing.