News: Pompeo Says Afghan Fiasco Return to 'American Weakness' of Obama Years

Mike Pompeo was closely involved in — if not supportive of — former US President Donald Trump's efforts to make peace with North Korea and end the 20-year Afghan war. But he was also among those thought to have urged greater aggression against Afghanistan's neighbor Iran.

Donald Trump's ex-foreign policy chief has said Joe Biden's handling of the Afghan pull-out has taken the US back to the "weakness" of former president Barack Obama.

Hawkish former secretary of state Mike Pompeo said US "leadership" in the global affairs "has already walked off the stage" seven months into the Democrat president's administration.

"It looks like we’re back to Barack Obama, America apologizing, American weakness, and our adversaries not fearing us and our friends not trusting us," Pompeo told Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures program on Sunday morning.

He said that Washington's designated enemies like Russian president Vladimir Putin, China's Xi Jinping, and North Korea's Kim Jong Un was "watching America destroy its alliances" with glee.

 

The White House ordered up to a hasty evacuation of its embassy in Kabul just over a week ago after its predictions that the US-trained Afghan National Army would hold out against the Taliban, the insurgent movement was banned in many countries including Russia.

Up to 6,000 US troops have been deployed to the Afghan capital, prompting the UK, Canada, France, and NATO members to follow suit as they also pull out their embassy staff and citizens. By In contrast, Russia, China, and other nations have kept their embassies open and maintain constructive relations with the new regime.

The insurgents walked into Kabul on Sunday August 15 without firing a shot, occupying the presidential palace as US-backed President Ashraf Ghani fled by private jet.

Defence Secretary-General Lloyd Austin contradicted Biden's assertion on Friday that remaining US citizens in Afghanistan were not at risk when he told Congress representatives that the Taliban were beating Americans trying to make their way to Kabul's Hamid Karzai airport to be airlifted home.

Pompeo said he had heard similar reports from "folks in the region", and had typically warlike advice for the Biden White House for how to handle the chaotic situation in Kabul, where tens of thousands of Afghans who collaborated with the 20-year US-led occupation are desperately trying to board US Air Force transport jets.

"Make it very clear that you’re not going to beg the Taliban, you’re not going to implore, not going to plead. You’re not going to pay the Taliban if Americans are harmed as they move to the airport," he said. "You’re going to go and crush them, but real costs on them."

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No source was given in reports for Austin's claims of abuses, nor for the new Secretary of State Antony Blinken's claim to Fox News on Sunday that terrorist group al-Qaeda, whose role in the September 11 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon was the pretext for the US-led invasion of Afghanistan was still operating in the country.

However, at least 12 Afghan citizens have been confirmed killed in the chaos at the fortress-like airport, including seven killed in a crush to get in on Saturday, two men shot dead by US troops and three more who fell to their deaths or were crushed when a USAF C-17 was cleared for take-off with men clinging to the undercarriage.

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Biden Could've Reversed Trump's 'Surrender Agreement' With Taliban, Liz Cheney Says

Cheney was one of the Republicans that opposed Trump's claims of a "stolen election" and supported impeachment procedures against him, after which the congresswoman was ousted from her leadership post on a voice vote. She vowed to do everything she could to "ensure that the former President never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office."

US House Republican lawmaker Liz Cheney says there is "no question" President Joe Biden could have back-pedaled on the US agreement with the Taliban* negotiated by the former administration of Donald Trump.

Cheney told NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday that entering talks with the Islamists amounted to recognizing them as a legitimate power in Afghanistan, while the elected government was not part of the negotiations.

 

"[W]e sat down and negotiated with terrorists, because we completely excluded the Afghan government from those negotiations, we gave credibility to the Taliban," Cheney said.

"Secretary Pompeo told us that the Taliban was going to renounce al Qaeda. They told us that the Taliban was going to fight terrorists. They forced the Afghan national government, we did, to release 5,000 prisoners. So we completely undercut the Afghan national government, we absolutely emboldened the Taliban," she added.

When asked by the host, if Biden had the opportunity to reverse the deal Cheney labeled a "surrender agreement", she replied that there was "no question" the POTUS has the right to do so, as he did reverse some of the policies initiated by Trump.

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She named the potential revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and the decision to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord as examples.

"President Biden ignored the advice of his military leadership and decided instead he's going to withdraw. And all you have to do is look at what is unfolding today," the congresswoman said.

The 2020 agreement with the Taliban, which Trump touted as one of his achievements while president, envisaged the Islamists renouncing violence in return for the gradual pullout of all American forces from the country. In accordance with the agreement, the US forces were supposed to withdraw by May 1, 2021, but Biden switched the deadline to August 31, just days before the 9/11 anniversary.

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