(USA Features) Sen. Marsha Blackburn said Monday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken will likely face tough questions from members of the House and Senate when he provides testimony regarding the Biden administration’s actions on Afghanistan.
Specifically, the Tennessee Republican said she wants to know if missteps that occurred were just accidental or on purpose as a means of “seeking to elevate China.”
“What we can expect are questions such as, did we have a withdrawal plan, or was this happenstance?” she told Newsmax TV’s morning show.
“The steps that the Biden administration made, which are missteps, were they intentional [or] were they seeking to elevate China? Had they made a deal on the front end? Was the Taliban creating an exit strategy for us because we did not have an exit strategy?” she added.
Blinken is scheduled to testify before a House committee on Monday and will be providing testimony to the Senate on Tuesday.
Blackburn said that some lawmakers will ask if it was part of President Joe Biden’s plan to allow the Taliban to take over Bagram Airfield as well as the U.S.-made equipment left behind.
“Did they plan to leave thousands of Americans and SIV applicants and SIV holders behind enemy lines, and why did they underestimate the Taliban?” said Blackburn.
“Were they not aware that the Taliban was working with China and Russia and Iran?” she asked.
The GOP senator also said she has thought for “quite a while now” that there is a new “axis of evil.”
“What we know is … China needed to have that overland route from Beijing to Tehran,” she told Newsmax TV. “They only got it going through Afghanistan.
“They also want the rare earth minerals that are there in Afghanistan, the lithium mines, things of that nature which the U.S. has put on the map for them,” Blackburn added.
“They know where they’re located and where to extract those components which are so necessary for semiconductor chips, microprocessors, lithium-ION batteries.”
In addition, she said, Tehran “is always looking for a partner that is going to be there to help them export terrorism.
“They like using their proxies to create chaos in the world, so we should have expected this. We should have known that this is the type of thing that the Taliban would do,” added Blackburn.