Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived before Congress on Monday for the first set of hearings into President Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.

In a prepared statement ahead of his appearance, Blinken detailed how the Biden administration prepared diplomats and soldiers ahead of the Aug. 31 evacuation deadline. He explained that the administration considered a "wide range of contingencies" that played its part in executing what Biden described as one of the most difficult and largest airlifts in history.

At the hearing, Blinken repeated previous arguments used by Biden and other officials that a collapse of the Afghan government was unavoidable. He did defend the view that Kabul’s rapid fall and the melting away of resistance from the Afghan security forces was unforeseen. Blinken said that even the most "pessimistic assessments" of the situation on the ground in Kabul, Afghanistan, did not predict that "government forces in the city would collapse while U.S. forces remained."

He also repeated an argument made by Biden that by not following through on the agreement reached by the Trump administration, it would have meant more violence between the U.S. and the Taliban that would prolong the war.

"Had he not followed through on his predecessor’s commitment, attacks on our forces and those of our allies would have resumed and the Taliban’s nationwide assault on Afghanistan’s major cities would have commenced," Blinken said.

"We inherited a deadline, we did not inherit a plan" on withdrawing the U.S. from Afghanistan, he said.

Blinken also rebuked charges that allies were neglected by Washington ahead of its decision to pull out of Afghanistan.

“In advance of the president’s decision, I was in constant contact with our allies and partners to hear their views and factor them into our thinking. When the president announced the withdrawal, NATO immediately and unanimously embraced it. We all set to work – together – on the drawdown,” Blinken said in his statement.

Kabul fell to the Taliban on Aug. 15 without major resistance from the Afghan military.