Democratic senators criticize Biden over Afghanistan pullout

Senators from President Joe Biden's Democratic Party on Tuesday took the administration to task over the withdrawal from Afghanistan, which a top lawmaker called "fatally flawed", AFP reports. Secretary of State Antony Blinken heard criticism across party lines as he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Bob Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and normally a Biden ally, recounted the beating of a reporter by the Taliban after it took over Afghanistan and said, "The repression of the Afghan people is happening in real time." "Mr. Secretary, the execution of the US withdrawal was clearly and fatally flawed," Menendez said. "This committee expects to receive a full explanation of this administration's decisions on Afghanistan since coming into office last January. There has to be accountability," he added. Menendez at the same time also criticized the previous administration's signing of an agreement with the Taliban to withdraw US troops and end America's longest war. "The chaos of (this) August is due in large part to the February 2020 surrender deal negotiated by Donald Trump, a deal that was clearly built on a set of lies," Menendez said. Senator Ben Cardin, another Democrat, also blamed Trump for pushing for the release of Taliban prisoners and reducing troops under the accord. However, he also said that Trump's actions did not "negate" that the Biden administration had information on the strength of the Afghan government and military which crumbled as US troops were still leaving. "I think many of us are interested in knowing how intelligence got that so wrong," Cardin said, according to AFP. Biden has come under heavy criticism for his handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, but has repeatedly defended his decision to withdraw from the country. Former President Trump has been one of the most vocal critics of Biden"s withdrawal. In a radio interview last week, he said the Taliban's change in behavior with the change in administrations proves the issue was with the person and not the plan. On Saturday, Trump slammed the "incompetence" of Biden's administration during the end to America's longest war. "It's a horrible thing that took place, a horrible, horrible thing," Trump said in televised comments during a visit to the New York Police Department's 17th precinct on the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. "It looked like we retreated, it looked like we gave up. Like, they use the word surrender," he added. Other criticism of Biden has come mostly from Republicans such former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. One Democrat, Rep. Seth Moulton, rebuked Biden"s claim that some Afghans weren"t evacuated from the country sooner because they didn"t want to leave and said, "That"s utter BS."

Democratic senators criticize Biden over Afghanistan
pullout
Senators from President Joe Biden's Democratic Party on Tuesday took the administration to task over the withdrawal from Afghanistan, which a top lawmaker called "fatally flawed", AFP reports. Secretary of State Antony Blinken heard criticism across party lines as he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Bob Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and normally a Biden ally, recounted the beating of a reporter by the Taliban after it took over Afghanistan and said, "The repression of the Afghan people is happening in real time." "Mr. Secretary, the execution of the US withdrawal was clearly and fatally flawed," Menendez said. "This committee expects to receive a full explanation of this administration's decisions on Afghanistan since coming into office last January. There has to be accountability," he added. Menendez at the same time also criticized the previous administration's signing of an agreement with the Taliban to withdraw US troops and end America's longest war. "The chaos of (this) August is due in large part to the February 2020 surrender deal negotiated by Donald Trump, a deal that was clearly built on a set of lies," Menendez said. Senator Ben Cardin, another Democrat, also blamed Trump for pushing for the release of Taliban prisoners and reducing troops under the accord. However, he also said that Trump's actions did not "negate" that the Biden administration had information on the strength of the Afghan government and military which crumbled as US troops were still leaving. "I think many of us are interested in knowing how intelligence got that so wrong," Cardin said, according to AFP. Biden has come under heavy criticism for his handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, but has repeatedly defended his decision to withdraw from the country. Former President Trump has been one of the most vocal critics of Biden"s withdrawal. In a radio interview last week, he said the Taliban's change in behavior with the change in administrations proves the issue was with the person and not the plan. On Saturday, Trump slammed the "incompetence" of Biden's administration during the end to America's longest war. "It's a horrible thing that took place, a horrible, horrible thing," Trump said in televised comments during a visit to the New York Police Department's 17th precinct on the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. "It looked like we retreated, it looked like we gave up. Like, they use the word surrender," he added. Other criticism of Biden has come mostly from Republicans such former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. One Democrat, Rep. Seth Moulton, rebuked Biden"s claim that some Afghans weren"t evacuated from the country sooner because they didn"t want to leave and said, "That"s utter BS."