Mike Pompeo, the former CIA Director and Secretary of State, trashed Joe Biden and his administration for bungling the withdrawal in Afghanistan. He said Trump had clear conditions with consequences things that Biden seems to have forgotten.
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.”
Here is a transcript of Mike’s Fox News interview.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS HOST: Joining me now on the phone after this announcement from the Pentagon: 3,000 additional troops will be sent to Afghanistan to help secure the drawdown of U.S. embassy personnel in Kabul. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joins me now by phone. Secretary Pompeo, good to have you here. So you listened to all of that, your reaction, what do you think about this move?
MIKE POMPEO, EX-CIA DIRECTOR & SECRETARY OF STATE: Well looks like this was poor planning, poor leadership and that the model of deterrence that the Trump Administration had in place as we prepared to bring the soldiers, sailors, marines, everybody who is on the ground there, home, looks like they have not been able to execute this. Martha, you know this, big strategy depends on planning and execution.
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.
MACCALLUM: And how would you have done it differently?
POMPEO: Well, 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. 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. 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.
MACCALLUM: I mean they are talking about leaving 600 people there ultimately if this temporary removal of our remaining personnel works. What if that is not enough to protect that area from the Taliban? I mean if they are sending in 3,000 people to get out 2,500 is 600 going to be enough and are those people going to be safe on the ground without additional support?
POMPEO: Well, I’m pretty confident that our military understands the mission set: to protect the homeland from an attack emanating out of Afghanistan, and so the precise number of people on the ground is something we focus on.
The threat also is not from the Taliban right? It’s from the fact that the Taliban will play footsie with terrorists like Al Qaeda. There are fewer than 200 Al Qaeda remaining inside of Afghanistan. That’s the target set is to protect America, right? We’re now goodness, three weeks out, four weeks out from the 20th anniversary of an attack that came from that place.
President Trump made very clear to me, to the State Department, to the Department of Defense that our mission set was clear: we wanted to make sure we always had the conditions based analysis that would protect America, at least reduce significantly the risk that there would be an attack from that place.
MACCALLUM: Secretary Pompeo, thank you very much. Good to have you here today.
POMPEO: Thank you, Martha. So long.
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