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The withdrawal of the Biden administration from Afghanistan has been a parade of bitter failures after bitter failures. I exploded after my vehicle was hit by an IED and almost died. As a veteran and as an American, I have questions. We all deserve answers.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s testimony to Congress this week marks the first opportunity for the American people to hold the Biden administration accountable under oath for its failures which have left Americans and our allies in Afghanistan tragically costly. to 13 soldiers.
Here are five questions Secretary Blinken must answer.
1. Why didn’t Secretary Blinken talk about Biden’s arbitrary and rushed deadline for the withdrawal of all American troops?
BLINKEN TO FACE GRILLING OF THE AFGHANISTAN WITHDRAWAL CONGRESS
When President Joe Biden decided to withdraw all remaining US forces from Kabul, Secretary Blinken must have known that we still had thousands of foreign service officers on the ground, staff from our embassy, and allied Afghan partners who would be soon to be at the mercy of the Taliban. if the government fell. He also had to know that the latter possibility was real; His own diplomats on the ground told him the Afghan government would quickly collapse once US forces withdraw.
Why did Blinken seemingly ignore this intelligence? Why has Blinken not spoken out forcefully to protect the interests of the State Department and, more importantly, American lives? Why didn’t he warn US personnel on the ground that he was in imminent danger and develop his own emergency evacuation plans for State Department personnel and other Americans?
2. What are you and the State Department doing to arrange the visa process for our Afghan allies?
Earlier this month, Secretary Blinken acknowledged “significant failures” in the way the State Department handled special immigrant visas for our Afghan partners who had been promised an outcome. Along with many Afghanistan veterans, I served alongside those courageous Afghans who assisted American forces as interpreters or as intelligence agents. Tens of thousands of them were left behind, mainly because the State Department did not approve their visas or put them on American planes.
READ BLINKEN’S PREPARED TESTIMONIAL
At the same time, it’s also clear that the State Department is not properly monitoring Afghan refugees resettling in the United States, posing a potential danger to Americans here at home.
We need specific, detailed answers: What is the State Department doing to speed up the SIV process and ensure that every refugee is fully vetted? What exactly is the Administration doing to help rescue the Afghan partners we have needlessly left behind?
3. How did the State Department fail to evacuate all Americans from Afghanistan?
US MILITARY EQUIPMENT LEFT IN AFGHANISTAN NEED FULL ACCOUNTING, GOP SENATORS SAY
After the last American troops withdrew, there were still thousands of Americans stranded in Afghanistan, despite the Biden administration’s promise that no American would be left behind. Many of them tried to get to the airport but were turned away after President Biden placed Taliban thugs in charge of security in Kabul. While many have been released since then, we still don’t know exactly how many are left.
Protecting Americans abroad is one of the State Department’s primary missions. That Secretary Blinken allowed this to happen under his watch goes beyond incompetence – it is a betrayal of our government’s commitment to protect and defend American lives. How did the State Department’s evacuation plan fail to get all Americans out? How does the State Department still not know exactly how many Americans are stranded in Afghanistan? Why were charter planes full of Americans taken hostage at the airport?
State Department failures put hundreds, if not thousands, of American lives at risk. Blinken must provide a full account of every failed decision made by the State Department in its plan to evacuate Americans, if there was even a plan.
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4. Why is the US government considering recognizing the Taliban?
The Taliban are an evil sect that brutally murders its own people for sport. Thousands of American servicemen have died fighting the Taliban. Many others, including myself, were seriously injured. Not surprisingly, the Taliban have already violated the terms of the negotiated peace agreement. Not only has the Biden administration advanced the withdrawal anyway, but the State Department is now openly considering officially recognizing the Taliban as the ruling regime in Afghanistan while expressing its “concern” that there is no women in his government.
It makes America look weak on the world stage. Secretary Blinken must fully explain how recognizing the Taliban and appeasing their regime while expressing low “concern” about their behavior is in the best interests of the United States and our allies.
5. What is the State Department’s plan to prevent China from profiting from this foreign policy failure?
It appears that the State Department has hardly considered the impact that the administration’s withdrawal plan would have on the Communist government in China, which is now free to exploit the strategic location of “the Belt and Road ”and the natural resources of Afghanistan for its own national interest. Our abandonment of the Americans and our allies in Afghanistan has already created propaganda in favor of the People’s Republic of China to cast doubt on the legitimacy of our alliance with Taiwan.
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The Chinese Communist Party has already held high-level meetings with the Taliban, which it hopes to turn into a strategic partner to advance their interests. Does the State Department have a plan to ensure that their disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan does not become a huge giveaway for the Chinese Communist Party?
These are just five questions Secretary Blinken needs to answer. There are many more, and as we sadly witness, the reckless incompetence of the Biden administration generates additional questions every day.
Sam Brown is an Afghanistan War veteran, Purple Heart recipient, and Republican candidate for the Nevada Senate.