The White House should pressure Putin quietly, ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested
US President Joe Biden should not have mused about the threat of a world-ending nuclear exchange with Russia, according to Mike Pompeo, who served as secretary of state under Donald Trump.
“Oh my goodness. First of all, those comments were reckless,” the former Trump administration official told Shannon Bream, the host of ‘Fox News Sunday’.
“I think that even more importantly, they demonstrate maybe one of the greatest foreign policy failures of the last decades, which was the failure to deter [Russian President] Vladimir Putin in the same way that the Trump administration did for four years,” he added.
Pompeo was referring to remarks that Biden made last week in which he assessed that the tensions between Russia and the US were at a level unseen since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since [US President John F.] Kennedy,” he said on Thursday at a reception for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in New York, using the Biblical name for a battle during the end times.
Members of the Trump administration, including Pompeo, pride themselves about having been “tough on Russia,” contrary to the widespread allegations by the former president’s critics that he was somehow beholden to Putin.
The previous US government started shipping weapons to Ukraine, put pressure on Germany to replace natural gas from Russia with American supplies, boosted NATO deployments near the Russian border and otherwise antagonized Moscow.
The Biden administration doubled down on those policies when Moscow demanded concessions from NATO to deflate tensions over Ukraine. Russia cited the US refusal to guarantee Ukraine’s future as a neutral nation among the reasons why it launched its military campaign against Kiev in February.
Pompeo’s advice to Biden regarding Russia was to emulate the Trump administration in “showing enormous resolve” and “executing quiet diplomacy,” similar to how the US “has always pushed back against our adversaries.”
Washington must make it “very clear to Vladimir Putin that the cost of him using a nuclear weapon will bring the force of not only the US and Europe, but the whole world against Vladimir Putin,” he added.
Before serving as secretary of state in the Trump administration, Pompeo was director of the CIA. He has a reputation as a vocal hawk, with China, Russia and Iran among his favorite targets. In the Fox News interview, he attacked all three, claiming that they were “all connected.”
“Those same Iranians that the Biden administration is giving money to are now providing weapon systems to the Russians to kill Ukrainians, and they are doing it all with tacit support from the Chinese Communist Party,” he stated, referring to Russia’s supposed purchase of Iranian drones.
He believes that the Biden administration “does not comprehend connectedness between these three problem sets” and that American national security was hurt as a result.
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