Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, pledged to slow-walk the Defense and State Department nominees from President Joe Biden until Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan resign after the botch Afghanistan withdrawal.
Hawley mentioned that, for the last month, Americans have “watched horrified at the scenes of chaos and terror and bloodshed, Americans trapped at the Kabul airport terrified as the enemy closed in,” and 13 U.S. servicemembers were killed. In addition, the Biden administration left hundreds of Americans trapped in the country now controlled by the jihadist organization.
“For 20 years, our soldiers who fought in Afghanistan did what we sent them there to do. They went after al Qaeda and killed Osama bin laden and prevented the terrorists from using Afghanistan as a base for attacking [America],” the Republican said on the Senate floor.
He also noted that it was done honorably by U.S. servicemembers. Hawley listed some of the reasons why Biden had “failed” multiple times when it came to the process of ending the American presence in Afghanistan:
- “He failed to protect Americans still in the country”;
- “He failed to anticipate worsening conditions on the ground”;
- “He failed in his judgment that the Afghan security forces would hold their own when our own intelligence estimates said they wouldn’t”;
- “He failed to anticipate a new offensive by the Taliban. He failed again and again and again until American blood at the Kabul airport paid the price for that failure around celebrated it as an extraordinary success.”
The senator then added that it is Biden’s team who are responsible as well. Hawley claimed that Austin, Blinken, Sullivan all “overestimated” the Afghan security forces and blamed them for the reason that thousands of Americans are “stranded by enemy lines and over 100,000 afghan refugees arriving to this country without vetting or precautions.”
He called Biden and his team cowardly for coming to Capitol Hill and testifying and Blaming others for their actions — which Blinken has been doing by blaming the previous administration during his testimony on Monday and Tuesday.
“I will not consent to the nomination of any nominee for the Department of Defense or for the Department of State until Secretary Austin and Secretary Blinken and Jake Sullivan resign,” he demanded, adding, “Leaders take responsibility for their failures.”
Follow Jacob Bliss on Twitter @jacobmbliss.