Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) says Secretary of State Antony Blinken “owes the American people a lot of explanations” for the “botched” Afghanistan withdrawal.
During a Fox News interview Wednesday, Crenshaw took a swipe at both Blinken and President Joe Biden for how they handled the situation in Afghanistan.
“But then there’s the question of how they did this. And that’s really what we need to be talking about now. How Biden did this is so utterly incompetent,” Crenshaw said.
Crenshaw explained how his office has been in touch with sources familiar with the operation. He added, “And this is a State Department-led operation. The State Department overruled DOD. When DOD wanted to make Bagram the last place where we would have troops, the State Department overruled them. It was a foolish mistake because Bagram can hold a lot more aircraft, for instance, than Kabul Airport.”
According to Crenshaw, “Their explanation was optics. They didn’t like how that would look. They didn’t like how that would look to invade Kabul before Bagram, I guess. And here’s another thing the State Department never did. They never even built a contingency plan to take people out of the embassy.”
He continued, “They were planning on just staying even though the conditions on the ground were getting worse and worse and worse. Capital city after capital city was just falling. By Saturday, they had no plans to leave.”
Watch Crenshaw’s remarks below:
"We didn't really end a war here… There's still people that want to kill us… now they just have a lot of operational space and timing to plan those attacks. That's the only difference from last week." @DanCrenshawTX analyzes the collapse of Afghanistan @BillHemmer @DanaPerino pic.twitter.com/0V5uh3U6KT
— America's Newsroom (@AmericaNewsroom) August 18, 2021
The Republican lawmaker argued Blinken “owes the American people a lot of explanations for this. Now, of course, the buck stops with Biden. Biden made all these decisions and it’s absolutely reprehensible. But the State Department really botched this.”
Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Gregory W. Meeks, invited Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to testify at a hearing on the matter.
“I have asked Secretaries Blinken and Austin to testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee and tell Congress what the administration’s plan is to safely evacuate American citizens, SIVs, and other vulnerable Afghans from the country, and to understand our broader counter terrorism strategy in South Asia following the collapse of the Ghani government,” Meeks said in a statement.
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