As intense criticism – and even talk of impeachment – continues to mount against President Joe Biden over his handling of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, according to a new report from Axios, it does not appear that any senior administration officials who have presumably advised him along the way are likely to be fired and may therefore evade accountability.
Amid the chaotic takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and what many view as a botched attempt to achieve a complete evacuation of American citizens as well as Afghan allies stranded in the country, there have been growing calls for the firing or resignation of numerous administration officials.
Some of the most frequently-mentioned names among those whose conduct has been called into question include National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, CIA Director William Burns, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, as the New York Post noted.
However, as the Axios report indicates, “people familiar with the matter” have said that it is highly unlikely that any of those figures are at risk of losing their jobs.
Biden has held fast to his belief that, as he put it over the weekend, “history is going to record [the troop withdrawal] the logical, rational, right decision to make,” despite the fact that the actual process of leaving the country was always going to be disruptive and “messy.”
Even so, the idea that none of the senior administration officials who have assisted Biden in presiding over what may ultimately prove to be a humanitarian disaster and an arguably unprecedented humiliation on the world stage is not likely to sit well with lawmakers who have been demanding that heads begin to roll sooner rather than later.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) last week tore into what he called the “overwhelming” degree of “incompetence of the Biden administration” and asserted that “there need to be resignations, there need to be firings,” according to Fox News.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) added his influential voice to the chorus of those who want to see a number of administration departures in the wake of the catastrophic scenes from Kabul, saying that resignations must be received from “Biden’s entire defense and foreign policy team,” members of which he opined were responsible for “the worst foreign policy debacle since Vietnam.”
For some, the firing of senior administration officials in the foreign affairs and military realms alone is an insufficient response to the devastating scale of what has been allowed to happen in Afghanistan, and a small – but growing – number of lawmakers including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) raising the specter of a presidential impeachment.