WHATLEY: Fire Blinken

Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. Blinken was questioned about the Biden administration's handling of the U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan. (Jabin Botsford/Pool via AP)

For the past several weeks, President Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan has weighed heavily on the hearts and minds of North Carolinians – and this week has offered no relief. On Monday and Tuesday, Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken testified before Congress in an attempt to defend the Biden Administration’s actions in Afghanistan and failed to provide either Congress or the American People with any meaningful explanation for how this entire operation went so wrong.

Watching Blinken try to explain away the Biden Administration’s mismanagement in Afghanistan was disheartening. There is no explanation for why our troops were placed in harm’s way, allowing thirteen American service members and nearly 200 Afghan civilians to be killed by a suicide bomber in an act of terror. Indeed, Blinken’s testimony before congress was unfortunately merely an attempt to deflect blame for the Administration’s actions rather than taking responsibility for his own mistakes. U.S. soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen and our allied forces sacrificed so much to protect American lives and interests in Afghanistan for twenty years, and deserve better than a poorly planned withdrawal which ended up as a stain on America’s reputation around the world.

In March, Blinken said the administration would bring “a responsible end to the conflict, to remove our troops from harm’s way, and to ensure that Afghanistan can never again become a haven for terrorists.” Unfortunately, we now know that the reality on the ground is far from these false claims.

While thousands of Afghan families, service members and Americans were able to evacuate from Afghanistan thanks to our courageous troops, Blinken and Biden left hundreds of Americans, including children, behind enemy lines in what can only be described as a hostage situation. The Taliban continues to block multiple charter flights carrying American citizens from leaving Afghanistan and Blinken has no idea how many Americans still remain in Afghanistan.

Blinken further emboldened Islamic terrorist organizations when he egregiously gave the Taliban what amounted to a kill list with names of U.S. citizens and our allies. He allowed  the Taliban to dictate the terms of our withdrawal and  to NGOs operating in Afghanistan while referring to the Taliban, which is nothing more than a terrorist organization, as the “Afghan government.” He has given more power to the Taliban than they had before September 11, 2001, and America will be cleaning up his mess for years to come.

To make matters worse, the Taliban is also now in control of an enormous amount of advanced U.S. military equipment. They have seized helicoptersHumveesMine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs)drones and even “anti-aircraft guns, armored tanks, and artillery.

These are the very real and devastating consequences for the way this withdrawal was handled by Blinken and the rest of the Biden Administration. Even America’s allies recognize how badly the Biden Administration handled the withdrawal from Afghanistan. It is a dark spot on America’s record of foreign policy and the responsibility lies solely on the shoulders of Blinken and the Biden administration.

Blinken’s performance testifying before Congress this week proved that he is incapable of fulfilling his main duty as Secretary of State, which is to keep Americans safe.  He has created a safe haven for terrorists in Afghanistan, provided them with weapons and military equipment and abandoned his fellow Americans. it is time for those responsible for putting Americans in harm’s way and diminishing American security at home and abroad to be held accountable. It is time for Joe Biden to fire Blinken.

Michael Whatley is the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party