Blinken disses US military, says Taliban offensive inevitable even if troops still on the ground

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken tried defending the Biden administration’s widely panned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by suggesting that the Taliban would have overrun the country even if troops had remained.

The remarks rubbed some the wrong way because they made it appear as if U.S. military soldiers themselves are the incompetent ones versus the administration officials, including the president, who’ve been directing their actions.

He made the remarks on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“The idea that the status quo could have been maintained by keeping our forces there is simply wrong. The fact is, had the president decided to keep forces in Afghanistan beyond May 1st, attacks would have resumed on our forces,” he said.

What he said was false right off the bat. The Biden administration DID keep troops in Afghanistan past the May 1st deadline set by former President Donald Trump.

“The Taliban had not been attacking our forces or NATO during the period from which the agreement was reached to May 1st. The offensive you are seeing across the country to take the provincial capitals would have commenced,” Blinken  continued.

“We would have been back at war with the Taliban. I would probably be on this program today explaining why we were sending tens of thousands of American forces back into Afghanistan and back to war — something the American people simply don’t support.”

Listen:

 

CNN host Jake Tapper, to his credit, fact-checked Secretary Blinken.

“You cited the May 1st deadline negotiated by the Trump administration. You did blow through that deadline. We did have troops there after May 1st?” he asked.

Correct.

The original timeline that was negotiated by Trump and the Taliban called for all U.S. troops to have been withdrawn by May 1st. President Biden violated that stipulation, and in doing so he angered the Taliban.

When the president announced in April that he’d be violating the agreement, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid issued a statement warning that the United States would “be held liable.”

Biden ignored the threat, so as soon as the May 1st deadline passed, attacks resumed with a “major Taliban offensive,” as reported by Reuters.

The avoidable attacks eventually culminated in the Taliban capturing every major city and effectively taking full control of the country.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration allowed it to happen by begging the Taliban for leniency and mercy instead of giving them a taste of the consequences that Trump had promised awaited them if they chose to misbehave.

“[I]f I were now president, the world would find that our withdrawal from Afghanistan would be a conditions-based withdrawal. I personally had discussions with top Taliban leaders whereby they understood what they are doing now would not have been acceptable,” the former president explained in a statement last week.

According to Trump era Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the conditions were quite simple: “[I]f you threaten an American, if you scared an American, certainly if you hurt an American, we would bring all American power to bear to make sure that we went to your village, to your house.”

Biden neither stuck to the timeline nor the conditions-based approach.

Despite him voluntarily choosing to go his own widely panned route, the president has tried repeatedly to blame his predecessor for his own blunders.

And now here Blinken is suggesting that U.S. military soldiers are too incompetent to have kept things together in Afghanistan.

Many in the public don’t seem to care for this rhetoric (*Language warning):

Vivek Saxena

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