Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on President Joe Biden to take swift action against the Taliban as they approached the Afghanistan capital of Kabul during an appearance on Fox News Sunday.
However, events were moving so quickly on the ground that the ragtag militants were already in the city before Biden could be stirred, with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fleeing the presidential palace for safe haven in neighboring Uzbekistan while the U.S. scrambled to evacuate thousands of Americans still in Kabul.
“It looks like the Biden administration has failed in its execution of its own plan. It looks like they are now trying to get folks out,” Pompeo said. “It also looks like there’s a bit of panic having to reinsert soldiers to get them out.”
“I hope we get these folks out,” he added. “I hope they will bring the airpower. They should go crush these Taliban who are surrounding Kabul. We should do it with American airpower, we should put pressure on them, we should inflict cost and pain on them. We shouldn’t be begging them to spare the lives of Americans, we should be imposing costs on the Taliban until they allow us to execute our plan in Afghanistan.”
As it is, the Biden White House is essentially begging the Taliban to allow them to get Americans out in an Obama-like display of weakness.
(Video: Fox News)
On the question of renewed terrorist threats to our national security, Pompeo said the Biden administration must show some backbone.
“The Taliban are aggressive and they are fearless because we have an administration that has refused to adopt a deterrence model, the one that President Trump and I had,” he told host Chris Wallace. “We’ve had Iranian rockets land in Israel, we’ve handed a pipeline back to the Russians. We’ve allowed the Chinese to castigate our senior leadership in Anchorage and now we’re letting the Taliban run free and wild all around Afghanistan.”
“They have to understand that there’s in an administration with a backbone and a seriousness to execute on the things that matter to protect and defend America,” the former Trump official said.
On the issue of Biden blaming the Trump administration, claiming he “inherited” the crisis, Pompeo was having none of it, saying he “wouldn’t have let my 10-year old son get away from this kind of pathetic blame-shifting.”
He said Biden should be more focused on “making sure that we protect and defend American security.”
“It’s worth noting this did not happen on our watch,” Pompeo told Fox News host Chris Wallace. “We reduced our forces significantly and the Taliban didn’t advance on capitals all across Afghanistan, so it’s just a plain old fact that this is happening under the Biden administration leadership almost a quarter of the way into his first term.”
The former diplomat noted that every president confronts challenges and that when they inherited deals they didn’t agree with, they changed them.
“This president confronts a challenge in Afghanistan, he has utterly failed to protect the American people in this challenge,” Pompeo insisted.
He also addresses the charge that their administration negotiated with the Taliban without the Afghan government in the room, saying that was not true. He ripped the “corrupt” Afghan president and expressed pride in their intended goal.
“We negotiated a deal that performed a basis for the conditions-based withdrawal of American soldiers. I’m proud of the work that we did there, we brought a lot of young kids home, we saved a lot of American lives,” Pompeo said.
Fittingly, Wallace tried to put the onus on the previous administration, asking, “Do you regret giving the Taliban that legitimacy?”
“We never trusted the Taliban. You can ask them yourselves,” Pompeo replied. “We made abundantly clear if they did not live up to that piece of paper, to the words that they had put on the ground, we weren’t going to allow them to just walk away from any deal that they had struck, we were going to go crush them.”
“We were going to impose real costs on them. We weren’t going to let them take these provincial capitals. They understood that American power was going to come to their village, to their community, to their friends and family around them and we were going to make sure that they understood America wasn’t going to allow Americans to be killed from this place,” he continued. “We didn’t take the word of the Taliban, we watched their actions on the ground. When they did the right thing and they helped us against terror, that was all good and when they didn’t, we crushed them.”
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