Blinken Asked to Testify to House Committee on Afghanistan
(Bloomberg) -- The House Foreign Affairs Committee will begin hearings next month on the tragic events unfolding in Afghanistan with testimony requested from Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the panel’s chairman said.
“We are planning hearings right now now,” Representative Gregory Meeks said Friday on Bloomberg Television’s “Balance of Power” with David Westin.
The New York Democrat said his committee will wait to “get past bringing our people home.” Meeks said hearings will focus on how it happened and preventing it from happening again, beginning with putting those questions to Blinken.
Meeks said he’s confident President Joe Biden’s administration will make sure every American who wants to leave Afghanistan will have been evacuated.
In the wake of the 13 service members killed and 18 wounded after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive near Hamid Karzai International Airport, Meeks said the U.S. will have to work in some capacity “whether we like it or not” with the Taliban in keeping the airport secure and in tracking down the offshoot of the Islamic State that was behind the attack.
The Taliban is “in charge of security” outside the airport, he said. “The evidence shows there is no collusion between the Taliban and ISIS-K,” he said. “We have a mutual interest in destroying ISIS-K.”
Meeks also said lawmakers will be revisiting the possibility of repealing and replacing the 2001 authorization of the use of military force, which cleared the way for U.S. military action in Afghanistan following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
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