Blinken was vacationing in the Hamptons hours before Kabul fell
Secretary of State Antony Blinken was vacationing in the Hamptons just hours before Taliban insurgents invaded Kabul and completed their retaking of Afghanistan 20 years after their ouster by U.S.-led forces, according to a new report.
According to a detailed timeline of the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul compiled by The Washington Post, the actions by U.S. officials in the days leading up to the collapse suggested “no immediate cause for alarm,” with many of them “surrendering to the customary rhythms of Washington in August.”
Blinken, like other U.S. officials, had to be called back from his vacation once things started rapidly deteriorating in Afghanistan, the report said.
“By August, the dominant view was that the Taliban wasn’t likely to pose a serious threat to Kabul until late fall,” The Post reported. “On the Friday afternoon before Kabul fell, the White House was starting to empty out, as many of the senior staff prepared to take their first vacations of Biden’s young presidency. Earlier in the day, Biden had arrived at Camp David, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken was already in the Hamptons.”
Biden has faced widespread criticism over his execution of the military withdrawal and his actions during and after the collapse of Kabul. The president has repeatedly defended his plan to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan, while hundreds of U.S. citizens and tens of thousands of Afghan allies and Afghans vulnerable to Taliban reprisal remain stranded in the country. A State Department spokesman said Sunday that 250 American citizens remain in Afghanistan, three days after ISIS-K terrorists attacked the airport in Kabul, killing 13 U.S. service members and more than 170 Afghans.- READ MORE