Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania told the Secretary of State at a hearing on Monday that U.S. allies Ukraine and Taiwan are scared America does not have their backs after the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“I just returned from Ukraine two days ago, my next stop will be Taiwan,” Fitzpatrick said during a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing. “These people are scared to death.”
Fitzpatrick asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken if the U.S. will “do whatever it takes” to support Ukraine and Taiwan from Russian and Chinese aggression, respectively.
“Absolutely, we stand by our commitments to both countries,” Blinken responded. The Secretary of State cited discussions between President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that he said reaffirmed those commitments.
“I will take you at your word,” Fitzpatrick said.
— Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick 🇺🇸 (@RepBrianFitz) September 13, 2021
The congressman then asked whether the U.S. was going to destroy the GPS-tracked equipment that had fallen into the hands of the Taliban. Blinken replied that much of the equipment was “inoperable” or soon would be due to what’s needed to maintain it, deferring any other questions to the Pentagon.
He assured Fitzpatrick he believed the U.S. should never capitulate to terrorists. Fitzpatrick followed up by asking if allowing the Taliban to run perimeter while the U.S. was attempting to evacuate Americans was capitulating to them.
“The reality is that the government and Afghan national security forces collapsed,” Blinken said. “Our job was to work to get as many people out as possible … because the Taliban controlled the city, that required some coordination with them.”
Blinken praised Fitzpatrick for working with the State Department to help reunite an Afghan family in New Jersey and recognized other members of Congress for their assistance aiding those in Afghanistan.