President Joe Biden and his military officials have taken fire on all sides for their handling of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, and now it has ratcheted up even more.
In an explosive Congressional hearing with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, one member of Congress told the Biden official if he was a true leader, he would resign immediately.
“This was fatally flawed, poorly executed,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin, R- N.Y., who is an officer in the Army Reserve. “We had the loss of U.S. service members as a result. We should not have been operating off of an arbitrary July 31st deadline. Instead, what we should have done was tell the Taliban that we’re going to leave Afghanistan when we’re done bringing every last American home. I believe you, sir, should resign. That would be leadership.”
The lambasting from Rep. Zelding comes after weeks of criticism from both Republicans and Democrats over the withdrawal, which included dozens of casualties.
President Joe Biden has defended the withdrawal, saying it was necessary to end the long Afghanistan war.
“I was not going to extend this forever war, and I was not extending a forever exit,” Biden said in a speech from the White House in August. “The decision to end the military airlift operations at Kabul airport was based on the unanimous recommendation of my civilian and military advisors — the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and all the service chiefs, and the commanders in the field. Their recommendation was that the safest way to secure the passage of the remaining Americans and others out of the country was not to continue with 6,000 troops on the ground in harm’s way in Kabul, but rather to get them out through non-military means.”