Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been heavily criticized for his part in the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. Amid the chaos in Kabul a 2014 video has resurfaced which shows the late Senator John McCain describing Blinken as being “dangerous to America.” Now many feel that this warning from McCain has been thoroughly vindicated by the scenes which continue to unfold following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
McCain attacked Blinken
McCain was arguing against the nomination of Blinken as Deputy Secretary of State under the Obama Administration. Blinken was ultimately confirmed in spite of his warnings.
Now Blinken is largely directing American foreign policy as part of the Biden Administration. He is one of the many otherwise unremarkable people who have managed to reach high office under the current president.
McCain argued for maintaining an American military presence in Afghanistan indefinitely; polling continues to show that most Americans had no desire to see the Afghanistan conflict continue.
The basic decision to withdrawal from the country had the support of most Americans in both parties. The real danger to America came from the manner in which Biden and Blinken arranged that withdrawal.
Despite reportedly being warned weeks in advance that the situation in Afghanistan was rapidly deteriorating, the secretary of state continued to neglect preparations which might have prevented the current crisis.
Diplomats in Kabul sent a report to Blinken in July which offered a detailed plan for an evacuation and explained fears that the government could collapse more quickly than anticipated.
State Department makes a mess of it
There is no shortage of blame to go around for the Afghanistan debacle and Biden himself is sure to receive much of it, even from the otherwise sympathetic mainstream media.
Leadership at the Pentagon and the CIA are equally deserving of criticism; with two decades and trillions of dollars they proved to be wholly incapable of preventing an eventual Taliban resurgence.
For Blinken and his associates at the State Department, incompetence surrounding the evacuation of citizens and allies from Kabul should be more than enough to justify a mass resignation.
In addition to a complete failure to begin the evacuation effort before it was already too late, the State Department has been of minimal help for Americans stranded in Afghanistan.
Of the national evacuation efforts underway in Kabul currently the United States is dealing with both the largest and the most poorly handled.
The Departments of Defense and State have admitted that Americans trapped in Kabul are wholly dependent on the mercy of the Taliban to get them to the airport and out of the country. Responsibility for this embarrassment must be assigned to both Biden and Blinken.