Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said on Monday that there was no way to predict how quickly Afghanistan would fall to the Taliban and no evidence that extending the U.S. troop presence could have stabilized the country, in a resolute defense of the American withdrawal last month.

In more than five hours of testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Blinken faced at least two calls for his resignation, as well as a string of demands from critics who accused the Biden administration of badly mishandling the end of the 20-year war. Even Democrats noted the desperation of Afghans who had allied with the United States but were not evacuated and wondered how they would survive under Taliban rule.

He is likely to receive a similar reception from a Senate panel on Tuesday. Mr. Blinken is set to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which includes lawmakers like Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the committee’s chairman, and Senator James E. Risch of Idaho, the ranking member.

Follow this page for live coverage of the hearing.

By Reuters

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