Although many Americans have long advocated for a withdrawal of U.S. military troops from Afghanistan, there has been plenty of debate regarding when and how that process should take place.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently voiced sharp criticism over the seemingly hasty and haphazard withdrawal ordered by President Joe Biden amid the rising influence of the Taliban in that country.
“Looks like there’s a bit of panic”
During an interview with Fox News on Thursday, Pompeo lamented the apparent “panic” by the Biden administration as well as the poor planning and execution behind the withdrawal.
His remarks came in the wake of reports that the U.S. is sending thousands of troops back into Afghanistan to help secure the safe evacuation of American citizens and personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
“Strategy depends on planning and execution,” Pompeo said, according to Fox. “Looks like there’s a bit of panic. I hope that they have the right number of folks and get them there quickly. I hope we can protect Americans in the way the Trump administration had every intention of doing as we drew down forces there.”
Pompeo declined to offer specifics regarding how the process might have played out differently under former President Donald Trump but asserted that there were “conditions attached” to the Trump administration’s plan for a military drawdown.
“If you threatened an American, if you scared an American, and certainly if you hurt an American, we would bring all American power to bear to make sure that we went to your village, to your house,” he said of the prior administration’s position.
“Pleading with the Taliban”
Pompeo went on to point out that not a single American was killed by the Taliban after an agreement reached in 2020 for a planned and orderly withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. He expressed hope that the “deterrence model” was not completely obsolete now that Biden is in the White House.
“President Trump made very clear to me, the State Department, Department of Defense, that our mission set was clear,” Pompeo said. “We wanted to make sure that we always had the conditions-based analysis that would protect America, at least reduce the risk that there could be an attack from that place.”
He expanded on his thoughts further in an op-ed published on Friday by Fox News, contrasting the promise of consequences by the Trump administration to Biden-era strategy of “reportedly pleading with the Taliban not to kill our diplomats as they depart.”
Pompeo denounced the “weak” and “dangerous” approach being undertaken by the current administration.
“The Biden administration’s sending of over 3,000 American troops back into Afghanistan is a result of poor planning and poor leadership in attempting to execute an operation that had been set up for success by the Trump administration,” Pompeo wrote. “It is time to reduce our operations in Afghanistan, but it must be done with strength, courage, and planning.”