Secretary of State Antony Blinken vows to provide direct financial aid of $64 mn to struggling Afghanistan as winter approaches
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has calmly deflected criticism on the chaotic exit from Afghanistan in the first official testimony to Congressmen since the country’s pull out from the troubled Asian nation.
In an argument with Republicans, Blinken said that staying longer would not have made much of a difference. Around 100,000 Afghans and 6,000 US citizens were killed in the last 20 years. The estimated costs ove the 20-year-period sum up to $2 trillion.
The Republicans have described the exit as a humiliating loss. They have raised questions about increased terror threats, human rights concerns, and the fate of Afghan allies.
Defending the chaotic exit, US President Joe Biden and his officials often pointed at the financial losses borne by Americans due to mistakes committed during America’s longest war.
On Biden ignoring intelligence
After echoing Biden in his opening remarks, Blinken emphasized that no American intelligence officers or military personals had estimated the quick fall of Afghanistan. However, Republican Michael McCaul described the exit as an unconditional surrender to the Taliban and living in the constant threat of terror attacks under the Taliban regime.
As of last week, 100 Americans were struck in a war-torn country. “The US offered evacuation seats to 60 of them, but only 30 had accepted,” Antony Blinken said. Secretary of State did not disclose the numbers for US allies citizens stuck in Afghanistan.
On US accepting the Taliban
As US allies, the Americans are also looking forward to the government to clear its stance on accepting the Taliban rule. The Secretary of State fielded the question with a diplomatic answer. While confirming that charter flights were not allowed to take off from Mazar-i-Sharif, he said, “If they want to seek any legitimacy or any support, it starts with freedom of travel.”
According to him, the Taliban government is a de facto ruler of Afghanistan. But the country’s huge dependence on international aid makes it accountable to the foreign community.
Blinken: Biden inherited deadline, not plan
Democrats have argued that Biden had to take a fast action due to Trump’s deal with the Taliban without involving the Afghan government. Biden decided to follow Trump’s deadline of 11th September – the date that triggered the American occupation.
As per Blinken, Biden had a choice between ending the war or escalating it. The Taliban had made it clear that they would resume attacks if Americans crossed the deadline.
Afghan women and US Aid
Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed to provide financial aid of $64 million to struggling Afghanistan as winter approaches. The aid would be sent directly to the local groups and NGOs bypassing the government.
The US is already in talks with the UN and other international communities to send the aid. The Biden administration is also planning to add a position for assisting Afghan girls and women.
The defence of Biden officials
Antony Blinken has defended the government with calmness and diplomacy. Most of his arguments were based on the White House talking points.
In his entire speech, he tried to point out that Biden was left with no other choice than to withdraw the US troops. Critics have been blaming the Trump-Taliban deal for the chaos.