Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, is testifying before the Congress on the US’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan as the war-torn country returned to the Taliban’s grip after the United States concluded its longest war in history. The Biden administration has faced severe criticism from Republicans as well as others for what many call a botched withdrawal. Consequently, Blinken’s testimony in front of the Congress is drawing strong responses from across the country.

Also Read | Out of 80 women, only 12 made it back to their job after Taliban takeover

Douglas county commissioner Danny Tarkanian said, “It would be hard to imagine a Secretary of State making a bigger mess of the world in such a short time than what Antony Blinken has done in the past nine months. The fact that he still holds his position is incomprehensible.”

Republican politician from Florida Lavern Spicer said on Twitter, “All that Antony Blinken is proving is that Joe Biden’s pull-out game is weaker than Nick Cannon’s”.

“I can’t believe the only reason we have this president is because half the country let their television tell them who to hate and what to fear,” Spicer added.

Defending the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, Blinken told the Congress, “There’s no evidence that staying longer would have made Afghan security forces or the Afghan government any more resilient or self-sustaining,”  

Top Democrats too defended the decision to withdraw. Representative Gregory Meeks, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, “Disentangling ourselves from the war in Afghanistan was never going to be easy.”

In his testimony, Antony Blinken said that the Biden administration inherited a deadline from the Trump administration but did not “inherit a plan”. Blinken’s statement follows from President Joe Biden’s comment last month in which he said that while he takes responsibility for the decision to withdraw at the end of August, it was Trump who had agreed to a withdrawal on May 1.

During the hearing, Antony Blinken reiterated that there are American citizens currently in Afghanistan and said that the Biden administration is in touch with the Americans who wish to leave Afghanistan.