Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the mistaken drone strike by the United States in Afghanistan that killed 10 civilians — including seven children — was the result of a decision “driven by politics.”
In an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Pompeo said “these were political decisions driven down to the military.”
“I'm confident that the military was under enormous pressure and [President Joe] Biden said we would strike back at the one who killed 13 Americans,” Pompeo said. “This is just another piece of an evacuation that was driven by politics and not putting America first and America's national security.”
Pompeo asserted the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan damaged our standing in the world.
“I don't see how the Biden administration gets back from this space,” he said. “I hope that they'll begin to recognize that their credibility around the world was damaged deeply by how they executed this withdrawal — the failure to work alongside allies to deliver and made sure that we got allies and friends out of the country and we abandoned a partner in a way that didn't deliver on security for our friends in the region as well.”
He said going forward, administration officials “need to find places that can show real resolve and determination and make sure we are not going back to what we were doing in the last eight years of the Obama administration which is weaknesses, weakness on the world stage.”
“There are still fighters in Afghanistan, we should provide moral support to them as well,” he added. “This was a takeover by a group of terrorists and we need to make sure, double sure, that we don't recognize Taliban as rightful leaders of Afghanistan.”
Pompeo also pushed back on the administration claim that former President Donald Trump and his team didn’t have a plan for the withdrawal.
“There was a plan but [they] chose to tear it up and put constraint where we had condition's base model,” Pompeo said.
“Just very different ways of thinking about the problem and so when you think about this coup, this take over, we try to get all of the players at the table. We had women's groups, [non-government organizations], Taliban, folks from the north, the Afghan government itself, all at the table trying to get a transition where we could some day, maybe 10 years, to get reconciliation among the Afghans. They just permitted the Taliban to throw all of that away, to throw normal diplomacy away, the hard work that we were engaged and allowing terrorist to take over the country.”
Pompeo said the United States shouldn’t recognize the Taliban as the ruler of Afghanistan.
“Most importantly, and what I'm most worried about the American taxpayer dollars that are headed to the Taliban as well,” he said. “We will bribe them and pay them and coerce them through using U.S. taxpayer dollars to convince the Taliban either to allow Americans out or for something elsewhere. We have no leverage today because of the decisions that this administration made.”
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