In Washington, Recriminations Over Afghanistan Emerge Quickly

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He put out a statement afterward saying that during the call “I only heard excuses.”

“Amidst the ongoing chaos and ensuing instability at home and abroad, the only solution President Biden has offered is to play politics and baselessly blame his predecessor,” he said.

He added, “Given that Republican members were somehow not allowed to ask questions during the call, I’ve requested the administration hold another call in the immediate future.” That request was greeted with incredulity by Democrats, given Mr. McCarthy’s lengthy attack.

But few lawmakers were happy. Representative Ro Khanna, Democrat of California, said his office had been bombarded with calls from the large Afghan population in his East Bay district because the repatriation assistance page of the State Department website included a broken link that had gotten them nowhere. Mr. Khanna was given a single point of contact at the State Department for all of his callers, but that person was soon overwhelmed.

“Maybe they ought to have a functioning link on the website with a direct way of processing all these requests,” Mr. Khanna said.

The political fallout for Mr. Biden remains unclear. Defense hawks such as Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming, are outspoken about what they see as a precipitous withdrawal and a collapse that can and should be placed at the Biden administration’s feet.

“If you look at what it would have taken in terms of maintaining the status quo, 2,500 to 3,500 forces on the ground conducting counterterrorism and counterintelligence operations, this disaster, the catastrophe that we’re watching unfold right now across Afghanistan, did not have to happen,” Ms. Cheney said on Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

But such voices are becoming rarer in a Republican Party that continues to embrace former President Donald J. Trump, who had demanded an even swifter pullout from Afghanistan, and in a war-weary Democratic Party that is largely standing by Mr. Biden — or staying silent. That may reflect the opinion of voters in both parties.


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