Speaking to Fox News this week, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized Biden for the way his administration has handled the military withdrawal, which was first designed by former President Donald Trump. Pompeo, the former CIA Director and Secretary of State, revealed what Trump told the Taliban in meetings and how the United States planned to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan.
The current situation, according to Pompeo, is the result of “poor planning, poor leadership, and the model of deterrence that the Trump Administration had in place.”
Trump’s proposal to withdraw the US military from Afghanistan came amid public fatigue with the war after nearly two decades of operations in the region. But the agreements he made with the Taliban to withdraw in May were broken by the Biden administration, which pushed the date back to September, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in 2001.
In April, Trump called the withdrawal from Afghanistan a “wonderful and positive thing to do,” but he criticized Biden’s timeline. He said the President should have stayed “as close to that schedule as possible,” referring to his agreements with the Taliban.
“I wish Joe Biden wouldn’t use September 11 as the date to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan, for two reasons. First, we can and should get out earlier. Nineteen years is enough, in fact, far too much and way too long,” Trump stated at the time, noting that “September 11 represents a very sad event and period for our Country and should remain a day of reflection and remembrance honoring those great souls we lost.”
Speaking to Fox News, Pompeo stated that the United States’ decision to re-deploy 3,000 troops to Afghanistan to assist in the secure withdrawal of American civilians was the result of “poor planning, poor leadership, and that the model of deterrence that the Trump Administration had in place as we prepared to leave Afghanistan.”
“Big strategy depends on planning and execution,” he added. “Looks like there is a bit of panic. I hope that they’ve got the right number of folks, that they can get them there quickly. I hope that we can protect Americans in the way that the Trump Administration had every intention of doing as we drew down our forces there.”
“I don’t know exactly what they are doing, but we had conditions attached to how we were thinking about this withdrawal — I was part of those negotiations,” Pompeo said. “I was also in the room when President Trump made very clear to Mullah Baradar, the senior Taliban negotiator, that if you threatened an American, if you scared an American, certainly if you hurt an American, that we would bring all American power to bear to make sure that we went to your village, to your house. We were very clear about the things we were prepared to do to protect American lives. And indeed, since we began those negotiations back in February of 2020, there wasn’t a single American killed by the Taliban. We had established a deterrence model.”
“I hope we haven’t lost that for the Americans who are still on the ground there in Kabul,” said Pompeo. “And then the last thing, Martha, we had begun the reduction of our operations in that embassy. I ordered a drawdown in the embassy in Kabul that took place. We were continuing to reduce our risk and our footprint there. I hope that they continued down that path. I hope that we are now in a place that to get our folks out of there in a way that is rational and consistent not only with the need to get our Americans home but making sure this ungoverned space doesn’t become another hotbed for Al Qaeda, ISIS or some other radical Islamic terrorist group.”
Watch the interview:
Trump statement on the situation unfolding in Kabul, Afghanistan
On Saturday (August 14), former President Donald Trump released his statement on the situation happening in Afghanistan.
Here’s his full statement:
“Joe Biden gets it wrong every time on foreign policy, and many other issues. Everyone knew he couldn’t handle the pressure. Even Obama’s Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, said as much. He ran out of Afghanistan instead of following the plan our Administration left for him—a plan that protected our people and our property, and ensured the Taliban would never dream of taking our Embassy or providing a base for new attacks against America. The withdrawal would be guided by facts on the ground.
What a disgrace it will be when the Taliban raises their flag over America’s Embassy in Kabul. This is complete failure through weakness, incompetence, and total strategic incoherence.”After I took out ISIS, I established a credible deterrent. That deterrent is now gone. The Taliban no longer has fear or respect for America, or America’s power.”