In Afghanistan, Biden’s team looks panicked. US needs to pivot to two things to make this work
Michael R. Pompeo
August 13, 2021
Let’s keep it simple. My mission with respect to terror in Afghanistan as secretary of state in the Trump administration had just two objectives.
First, reduce the threat from radical Islamic terror in that country and make sure that we do all we can to prevent a repeat of the events, now almost exactly 20 years ago, that killed 3,000 people in the United States. Second, get our brave young soldiers, airmen and Marines home and focus on terror all around the world and the great power struggle emanating from China. That is all.
From Feb. 29, 2020, the day we signed our first agreement with the Taliban, not a single American was killed by them. Not one. Today, the Biden administration is reportedly pleading with the Taliban not to kill our diplomats as they depart. It’s not simply weak, it’s dangerous.
Our model to keep Americans safe was deterrence – put an American at risk, we will come to your village and find you and your entire unit and make it a very bad day until you beg us to stop. Think Quassem Soleimani.
A strategy this substantial depends on planning and execution. We had begun not only an orderly military reduction in risk, but had begun to reduce the number of diplomats in our embassy in Kabul as well. All to reduce risk. We had a plan and we were determined to execute it to achieve the twin goals that the president had set for us.
In contrasts, it appears Team Biden may not have planned adequately. They look panicked. This will embolden the Taliban and encourage Al Qaeda.
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.
It is time to reduce our operations in Afghanistan, but it must be done with strength, courage and planning. It is not necessary that an American drawdown leads to a rout. The twin goals can still be achieved, I hope that this administration can pull it off.
Read the full op-ed HERE.