Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ripped into President Joe Biden for his assessment of the troop withdrawal in Afghanistan and the deal with the Taliban and conducted an interview with National Review in which he stated that critics who are blaming this ordeal on the Trump administration is “nonsense on stilts.”
“It is nonsense,” Pompeo said during his chat with the National Review . “It is, in fact, nonsense on stilts.”
Pompeo blamed Biden for incorrectly interpreting a conditions-based agreement he and former President Donald Trump made with the Taliban concerning U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“We knew this was going to take many, many months. Constantly trying to convince the Afghans that they were going to have to take down the temperature on their civil war,” Pompeo said during the interview.
“That they were going to have to find a modus vivendi for power-sharing amongst the different tribes and ethnicities. This is a millennial project. I was under no illusion that this would happen on my watch,” he continued.
Pompeo signed an agreement with the Taliban in February 2020 that established a May 2021 U.S. troop withdrawal deadline from Afghanistan provided the Islamic terrorist organization met a series of conditions, including making a complete break from al-Qaida.
Biden has claimed his hands were tied due to the Trump administration’s deal. He says he could have complied with the May deadline, or been forced to surge in more troops when the Taliban inevitably began attacking Americans for overstaying their welcome, the National Review reported.
“I don’t know what planet he’s on,” Pompeo said, pointing out that the Taliban didn’t start ramping up their attacks when Biden missed the May withdrawal deadline.
“[Biden] says there was an unconditional commitment to leave in May. That’s simply not true. Read the document. What we would have done is we would have continued to apply pressure,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo stated that he was also aware of the intelligence reports that stated al-Qaeda was still deeply engaged in the country of Afghanistan when he put his name down on the Doha agreement.
“I never believed a thing they said,” Pompeo went on to say concerning the Taliban’s vow to break off from al-Qaida. “It was a condition.”
The former secretary of state then put emphasis on the fact that the withradrawal was “conditions-based” and then suggested that former President Trump and his administration during a second term would’ve maintained a small military presence in the country well past the deadline in May, once it would have become clear the Taliban was not going to keep its word.