Former secretary of state and potential 2024 Republican presidential nominee Mike Pompeo said the United States should provide Taiwan with “all the tools” needed to prevent a Chinese takeover, saying President Biden’s foreign policy “lack of resolve” has led to adversary aggression around the world everywhere.
Mr. Pompeo said over the weekend that hostile regimes — from Russia and China to Iran, North Korea and Venezuela — felt a weakness and were eager to exploit it, a sign that the art of great-power deterrence that has long underpinned the U.S. global posture has all but fallen by the wayside for nearly two years.
“Deterrence depends on capability and intent, and the administration has shown no intent to protect what’s important,” Pompeo said in a wide-ranging interview with The Washington Times during his visit to South Korea. Activities that promote deeper U.S. engagement in the Pacific.
While he sidestepped the question of whether he would run for president — saying “only God knows” — Mr. Pompeo said he would do everything in his power to ensure a Republican victory in the midterm congressional elections.
He has also publicly expressed concern that U.S. national security agencies, including the FBI, are under attack from a “political mentality” that could undermine the core mission of protecting Americans.
Asked about the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Pompeo said politics must be “cut out” from the agency’s day-to-day operations.
SEE ALSO: Pompeo: Raid on Trump’s home reveals ‘dangerous’ partisan motives of national security establishment
He warned that “when you start prosecuting your enemies” there are dangerous consequences in domestic politics.
More broadly, he suggested that Mr. Biden’s foreign policy blunders should take into account Republican efforts to retake Congress and the White House, with this week’s one-year anniversary of the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan becoming one of the more troubling examples.
Xi sees weaknesses
Pompeo said the administration’s disastrous handling of the U.S. withdrawal has sparked a trend of adversaries pushing the envelope in increasingly aggressive ways. It is believed that Washington will seek to avoid confrontation.
Pompeo said he personally supports reducing U.S. troops in Afghanistan, but only on “certain conditions.”
“Every world leader” witnessed the “fiasco” of the U.S. withdrawal last year and “saw an America that was not ready for a basic blockade and response that was perfectly capable of protecting its people and interests,” he said.
SEE ALSO: Attorney General’s attempt to defend Trump raid does little to quell GOP attack
“When they see this — the lack of determination — I think it increases the likelihood that Xi Jinping is actively trying to do what he’s wanted to do for a long time, which is to bring Taiwan back into China’s orbit,” he said, adding, ” In my view, Xi Jinping has no doubt felt the weakness of the U.S. government.”
His comments coincided with Washington’s unease over the Biden administration’s response to China’s growing military provocation against Taiwan following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to democracy in Taiwan.
Mr Biden’s conciliatory remarks about his administration surrounding Pelosi’s visit have drawn bipartisan criticism. The White House even publicly warned the California Democrat that the trip was “not a good idea” and could unnecessarily anger China.
The reassuring gesture continued even after China responded to Pelosi’s visit with live-fire military exercises, claiming her trip violated U.S. commitments to the “One China” policy.
The U.S. government has since drawn criticism by declaring Taiwan a “major non-NATO ally” and authorizing $4.5 billion in security aid, resisting a bipartisan push for legislative changes to the policy.
Pompeo, a Republican congressman from Kansas before serving as CIA director and secretary of state under Trump, disputed the administration’s posturing and defended Mrs. Pelosi’s determination to visit Taiwan.
“Once Speaker Pelosi announced her intention to go to Taiwan, let the executive branch…frankly be part of her party…come out and say, ‘No, we don’t think it’s wise for her to go’, it’s is the exact same language that will be used [by] The Chinese Communist Party’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he said. “It weakens the United States, reduces our security, and of course poses a great risk to Taiwan. “
“The Chinese are acting like it’s a huge challenge, some huge confrontation with them, some deliberate provocation against the Chinese Communist Party,” he added. “She’s getting on the plane, landing and meeting, so we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that what the Chinese Communist Party did last week was not a real response to Pelosi’s visit.”
“[It] is an afterthought for what they want to do … unify Taiwan with China,” Mr. Pompeo said. “The truth is they want to take over another free and sovereign country and put it in China’s orbit. “
“To protect them from letting this happen,” he said, “we should provide Taiwanese with all the tools they need.”
The former secretary of state also accused the current administration of failing to provide Ukraine with military support to defend against a Russian invasion.
“There’s been talk that we’re going to provide these resources, and I think if you ask the Ukrainian military, we’re slow, late and small,” Mr. Pompeo said. “You can disagree with this policy, many people agree, even within my own party. But if your policy is to support Ukrainians and give them the tools they need to defend their sovereignty, give them … don’t issue press releases, just provide them.”
draw clear lines
Mr. Pompeo similarly criticized the Biden administration for waiting indefinitely for Iran’s hardline Islamist government to accept the president’s proposal to revive the Obama-era nuclear deal, which Mr. Trump pulled the United States from in 2018.
An Iranian operative has been charged with plotting to kill Trump-era national security adviser John Bolton, the Justice Department announced last week. Mr. Pompeo was also the target of the conspiracy, sources familiar with the allegations said.
Pompeo said Iranian leaders had made “undisguised” efforts to “go after” former Trump administration officials, which he believed were more committed than the Biden administration to ensuring “Iran never had a nuclear weapon.”
“The Biden administration is very focused on giving them a lot of money that will eventually allow them to do that, not just make weapons, but make weapons programs,” he said of the administration’s offer to restore sanctions if Iran returns to compliance with Obama The nuclear enrichment limit set by the ERA agreement, it would be a relief.
Mr. Pompeo was interviewed by The New York Times on the sidelines of the leaders’ summit “Towards Peace on the Korean Peninsula” hosted by the World Peace Federation (UPF) in Seoul.
UPF was co-founded by Unification Church leader Hak Ja Han Moon, wife of the late Pastor Ming Ming. The pair devoted their lives to promoting world peace and the unification of the Korean peninsula — the basic premise of a movement that grew out of the Unification Church, founded by Rev. Moon Jae-in in 1954.
Over the decades, the movement has evolved into a global spiritual movement and an affiliated business empire made up of hundreds of businesses in six countries, including hospitals, universities and newspapers including The Washington Times.
In an interview with The Times, Pompeo stressed the need for a firmer and clearer policy toward North Korea, suggesting the Biden administration lacked resolve to believe Pyongyang was “ready to conduct a nuclear test.”
More broadly, Mr. Pompeo described “deterrence” as “at the heart of keeping America safe.”
“Whether you live in Minnesota, Texas or El Paso,” he said, “you need a strong America to deter.”
“You can’t be at a disadvantage all the time … purely defensively because the opposing team will see that,” Mr Pompeo said. “If they don’t feel risky, they don’t feel threatened, and they don’t feel like America is strong, then I’ve always used the old Southwest line and they’ll ‘walk around the cabin.'”
“That’s what you see all over the world. You see bad guys walking through the cabin at will.”
He added that the Trump administration’s model is “to take advantage of America’s core strength, our economic strength, our resources and energy, and all the tools that we have that have nothing to do with the American military. Then we will build an army,” he said. When it’s ‘going off’, we’re going to be great.”
He said the Biden administration needs to learn from the Trump team’s learning, both to be clear about the boundaries and to be willing to push back when questions are raised.
“Our national security team [was also] Seriously these are important things and we will defend these lines. It’s not everywhere, and it always is. This is realistic. It’s limited,” Mr. Pompeo said. “But we’re serious about it, and I think it’s got a lot of bad guys saying, ‘You know, we think we’re going to give Americans some space to show the things they care about. ‘”
He said that under Mr Biden, “things have changed dramatically”.
“When you draw lines, you set them, and you have to be prepared to defend them … in a way that bad guys can see, it’s not worth the risk,” he said.