Rep. Austin Scott to Newsmax: Afghanistan Blame Lies With Biden, Blinken

Rep. Austin Scott to Newsmax: Afghanistan Blame Lies With Biden, Blinken (Newsmax's "National Report")

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Tuesday, 28 September 2021 12:40 PM

The Pentagon officials testifying before Senate and House committees this week have "all the answers" on the withdrawal from Afghanistan, but the blame for the "catastrophe" lies with President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., told Newsmax.

"It was created by them," Scott told Tuesday's "National Report." "I think Blinken and Biden set the parameters under which our military operated in Afghanistan."

His comments came with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, and Commander of U.S. Central Command Gen. Kenneth McKenzie testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee. All three will appear before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.

Scott added he believes, once the intelligence reports and the inspector general's findings on Afghanistan become declassified, Americans will agree, "it made absolutely no sense" to give up the Bagram Airfield when it was surrendered.

"There's no way that any of our military leaders reading the intelligence reports would have advised, in my opinion, giving up Bagram as we got to the end of May and further into June, with the amount of territory that the Taliban was taking," Scott said. "They weren't just taking districts that were taking provinces and so I'm very interested to see the questions that are asked."

Scott said his questions will revolve around whether the Pentagon officers changed their advice to the administration about pulling troops, based on intelligence reports coming from the ground.

"If they didn't, then we've got a problem with our military leadership," Scott said.

Meanwhile, Scott said he thinks the administration is "just making up the numbers" about how many Americans remain in Afghanistan after a State Department official told CNN this week that 85 U.S. citizens remain in Afghanistan.

"I don't buy the 85 number any more than I buy that the $3.5 trillion [spending bill] doesn't cost any money," Scott said. "This is a State Department that cannot be trusted, giving numbers that are not accurate to the American citizens, and other people that I know of here are working with significantly more than 85 Americans and trying to get them out."

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