Mike Pompeo Outlines How Trump Admin Planned to Handle Afghanistan, Taliban

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the Trump administration had a better approach to dealing with Taliban "butchers" and their plan would have led to a more successful withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Pompeo spoke to the Fox Business Network on Monday about U.S. troop drawdown from the country following chaotic scenes in Kabul as the Taliban took the capital city on Sunday.

President Joe Biden defended the withdrawal from Afghanistan in an address on Monday and criticized the Afghan military for the Taliban's rapid advance through the country.

Pompeo spoke to Fox Business host David Asman about Biden's speech and said the president "blamed everyone but himself."

"The tragedy you see unfolding, the videos you see, those things didn't have to be," he said.

Pompeo argued that the Trump administration had kept the country stable through a "deterrence" model and went on to stress the need to evacuate personnel from Afghanistan.

He also criticized Biden's decision to send 5,000 troops to the country despite earlier withdrawing forces, a sentiment he repeated on Twitter.

Asman asked Pompeo about the Trump administration's role in planning for the troop drawdown.

"Obviously, you're defensive about what happened during the Trump administration but how would you have handled things differently?" Asman said.

"No, I'm not defensive at all," Pompeo said. "I know precisely how we handle it and I know that we drew down 12,500 people and didn't have a single American killed by these very same Taliban butchers."

Sending more than 5000 troops back in AFTER you withdrew a couple thousand of them is proof that you are disconnected from the reality on the ground and aren't serious about protecting Americans.

— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) August 16, 2021

"We had a model where we'd made clear what our red lines were," Pompeo went on. "We'd made clear the things we were prepared to do to defend them. We could have executed a plan in a way that would have led to the orderly withdrawal."

"We would have demanded that the Taliban actually deliver on the conditions that we laid out in the agreement - including the agreement to engage in meaningful power sharing agreement - something that we struggled to get them to do but made clear it was going to be a requirement before we completed our requirement to fully withdraw," he said.

Pompeo went on: "We would have gotten those conditions right. We would have held the Taliban to those limits and we would have been able to prevent, in all likelihood, precisely what you're seeing unfold today in Afghanistan."

The former secretary of state then said that members of the military who served in Afghanistan, either directly or in support roles, "should be proud of the work that they did."

President Biden delivered an 18-minute speech on Monday defending the withdrawal from Afghanistan and said he wouldn't "mislead the American people by claiming that just a little more time in Afghanistan will make all the difference."

Biden specifically mentioned the Trump administration's plans to withdraw from Afghanistan: "When I came into office, I inherited a deal that President Trump negotiated with the Taliban. Under his agreement, U.S. forces would be out of Afghanistan by May 1, 2021, just a little over three months after I took office."

"There was no agreement protecting our forces after May 1. There was no status quo of stability without American casualties after May 1," Biden went on.

"There was only the cold reality of either following through on the agreement to withdraw our forces or escalating the conflict and sending thousands more American troops back into combat in Afghanistan and lurching into the third decade of conflict."

Biden defended pushing ahead with the withdrawal but also offered criticism of the U.S.-trained Afghan army.

"We gave them every tool they could need," Biden went on. "We gave them every chance to determine their own future. What we could not provide is the will to fight for that."

Newsweek has asked the White House for comment.

Mike Pompeo Speaks at CPAC 2021
Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 27, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Pompeo said on Monday that the Trump administration would have handled the withdrawal from Afghanistan more successfully. Joe Raedle/Getty Images