UPDATED 10:42 AM PT – Sunday, August 15, 2021
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he fears U.S. troops would have come under Taliban attack if they’d remained in Afghanistan any longer. In an interview on Sunday, Blinken tried to defend Joe Biden’s plan to withdraw troops, despite having to redeploy them amid a Taliban takeover.
Biden has taken heat over the move after saying just last month that it was unlikely the Taliban would overrun the country. According to Blinken, maintaining the status quo of troops in Afghanistan would have resulted in attacks on those troops.
“Like it or not, there was an agreement that the forces would come out May 1. Had they not, had we not begun that process, which is what the President did and the Taliban saw, then we would have been back at war with the Taliban,” stated Blinken.
When asked why troops weren’t being kept in the country until all personnel were out, Blinken said the quick redeployment of troops showed the administration was prepared for every contingency. He noted the Taliban has been warned of a swift response if they interfere with U.S. personnel or operations.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken defends the Biden administration’s decision to pull US forces out of Afghanistan: “The idea that the status quo could have been maintained by keeping our forces there, I think, is simply wrong.” #CNNSOTU https://t.co/5uk1k2vMbY pic.twitter.com/qlX6LU7BTB
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) August 15, 2021