Al-Qaeda could take a year to reorganize enough to pose a significant threat to the United States.
The US secretary of state attempted to deflect criticism from both sides of the aisle over the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan by releasing new projections that anticipated an Al-Qaeda comeback on Afghan soil.
According to the Associated Press, Antony Blinken, who testified three days after the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks that led to the US invasion of Afghanistan, offered assessments that Al-Qaeda may reconstitute enough to pose a threat to the US in as little as a year.
Senator Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat who has been generally supportive of President Joe Biden’s foreign policy but has taken issue with numerous areas of it, notably Afghanistan, said, “The execution of the US withdrawal was manifestly and tragically defective.”
He stated, “This committee expects to receive a thorough explanation of this administration’s policies on Afghanistan since it took office in January.” “Accountability is required.”
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
In his attempt to face down a second day of harsh congressional questioning, this time from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Blinken had mixed results. He had been grilled by Democratic and Republican members alike the day before in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee over the administration’s preparations for and handling of the disengagement.
Even lawmakers who supported Biden’s decision to end America’s longest war by withdrawing from Afghanistan after 20 years expressed disappointment and concern about the large number of Americans, green card holders, and at-risk Afghans who were left behind in the chaotic and hasty evacuation from Kabul.
Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, the committee’s top Republican, called the withdrawal a “dismal failure.” He and nearly all of his Republican colleagues blasted the government of “ineptness,” which they said has cost the US worldwide prestige, resulted in a tragic attack on US forces and Afghan civilians at the Kabul airport, and left many people in the dark.
“There isn’t enough lipstick in the world to make this pig appear anything other than what it is,” Risch explained.
Blinken tried to deflect the criticism, just like he did on Monday at the often tense House hearing, insisting that the administration had done the best it could under extraordinarily hard and chaotic conditions.
Blinking once more. This is a condensed version of the information.