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Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed the Biden administration’s strategy, or lack thereof, in the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Specifically, Pompeo addressed reports that the Biden administration would be willing to pay ransoms to get Americans out of Afghanistan, a move that he called “ludicrous”.
“This is crazy, this is craziness on stilts. This is built on an understanding that somehow these folks are going to behave in a way that’s consistent with the other nations that we recognize. There is no evidence of this, and so I’ve been surprised to hear them talk about the Taliban caring about international recognition, I never saw that,” Pompeo criticized.
“I think [the Taliban] cared about the singular thing, creating power to themselves. I hope this administration is not prepared to pay them the same way they paid the Iranians before. I hope that because it didn’t work. Iran continues to be the host, the headquarters for al-Qaeda. This idea that we’re going to use American money to bribe the Taliban to behave is something that is absolutely ludicrous,” the former secretary of state said.
Pompeo highlighted differences between the Trump administration’s plan for withdrawal and the Biden administration’s catastrophic approach. He noted that former President Trump’s plan always included an orderly, conditions-based withdrawal that, most importantly, got the “sequencing” right.
“[Our plan] would have certainly included making sure we got the sequencing right, the sequencing on Bagram right, the sequencing on Americans versus military, and of course, it included the central thesis that we were going to get every American out. President Trump wanted to make sure we didn’t leave behind $80 billion in equipment as well. We were determined to get all the Americans out, to make sure…that we were never threatened by our equipment,” Pompeo emphasized.
The former secretary of state and West Point graduate called it a “sad day,” saying that there will be many Americans who remain stuck in Afghanistan.
Pompeo said he is confident that central Asian countries to the north would be willing to help the Biden administration get Americans out. He hopes the administration has been working that angle and will accept the help of non-government agencies who want to get Americans out.