Toronto Star

Blinken pushes back on GOP criticism of Afghan withdrawal


WASHINGTON—U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken pushed back Monday against harsh Republican criticism of the handling of the military withdrawal from Afghanista­n, saying the Biden administra­tion inherited a deal with the Taliban to end the war, but no plan for carrying it out.

In a sometimes contentiou­s hearing 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.

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

“We inherited a deadline. We did not inherit a plan,” Blinken said, maintainin­g that the Biden administra­tion had done the right thing in ending 20 years of war.

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