US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has defended Joe Biden's decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, claiming the White House is prepared for a "worst-case scenario" amid Taliban threats.
Blinken made the remarks in an interview with CBS that aired on Sunday, one day after US forces began formally withdrawing from the region under the president's directions.
Horah O'Donnell quizzed Blinken as to whether the Biden administration was prepared for a "worst-case scenario" in Afghanistan, "where the US-backed government fails, and the Taliban takes over?"
Blinken responded that the White House has to "be prepared for every scenario, and there– there are a range of them."
"We are looking at this in a very clear-eyed way," he said.
"But Norah, we've been engaged in Afghanistan for 20 years, and we sometimes forget why we went there in the first place, and that was to deal with the people who attacked us on 9/11."
Appearing to affirm that he believed the US' job in the region was done, Blinken added: "And we did. Just because our troops are coming home doesn't mean we're leaving. We're not."
Further elaborating on his point, Blinken pointed out that the US embassy would be remaining in Kabul and said that " economic support, development, humanitarian" aid will also remain.
"And not only from us, from partners and allies," he added.
Biden has been widely criticized for his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan.
The president has vowed to complete the withdrawal by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
South Carolina Senator accused Biden of "paving the way" for another terror attack similar to 9/11, saying terrorists across the globe were "on steroids" after Biden made the announcement two weeks ago.
Graham said Biden is "setting Afghanistan on a path to deteriorate rather quickly and for the enemy, radical Islam, to reconstitute.
"It can all be avoided with a minimal commitment compared to the past."
He added that "Every terrorist camp in the world is on steroids today because in their world they beat us. In their world, they drove us out."
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