Mike Pompeo on War & Peace



North Korean policy deterred missile tests & nuclear weapons

President Trump sent me to Pyongyang when I was a CIA director to meet with Chairman Kim, to prepare for the summit that was held in Singapore. We threatened fire and fury. We threatened fire and fury not to go to war, but to deter it. And deter it, we did. Since those summits, one in Singapore, one in Hanoi, the North Koreans haven't tested a long range, ballistic missile, and they haven't tested their nuclear weapons. Exactly zero tests have been conducted. That's real foreign policy.
Source: Remarks by Secretary Pompeo at the 2021 CPAC Conference , Feb 26, 2021

The ISIS caliphate is wiped out; our soldiers coming home

In the Middle East, when Iran threatened, the president approved a strike that killed the Iranian terrorist Qasem Soleimani. This is the man most responsible for the murder and maiming of hundreds of American soldiers and thousands of Christians across the Middle East. Today because of the president's determination and leadership, the ISIS caliphate is wiped out, it's gone. It's evil leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is dead and our brave soldiers, they're on their way home.
Source: Speech at 2020 Republican National Convention , Aug 25, 2020

Trump brokered Israel/UAE deal: one for the history books

The president exited the U.S. from the disastrous nuclear deal with Iran and squeezed the Ayatollah, Hezbollah, and Hamas. The president too moved the U.S. embassy to this very city of God, Jerusalem, the rightful capital of the Jewish homeland, and just two weeks ago, the president brokered a historic peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. This is a deal that our grandchildren will read about in their history books.
Source: Speech at 2020 Republican National Convention , Aug 25, 2020

The Taliban has now made the break with terrorism

President Trump has allowed us to take the fight to the Taliban these last two years. And we have done so. It's why they, for the first time, have announced that they're prepared to break with their historic ally, al-Qaida, who they've worked with much to the detriment of the United States of America. You can see the Taliban have now made the break. They've said they will not permit terror to be thrust upon anyone, including the United States, from Afghanistan. This is historic in that way.

Don't trust anything. We're going to deliver. It's about actions. The agreements that set out, the conditions that set out the space. But, no, this deal doesn't depend upon trusting anyone. It has a deep, complex, well-thought out, multi-month negotiated verification complex and mechanism by which we can observe and hold every member of the agreement accountable. It's not about trust. It's about what happens on the ground not only yesterday, but in the days that follow.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2020 interview on Trump Administration , Mar 1, 2020

Killing Soleimani "took a bad guy off the battlefield"

[On the U.S. assassination of an Iranian General]: "We took a bad guy off the battlefield," Pompeo told CNN. "We made the right decision." The same day, Pompeo told ABC that killing Soleimani was important "because this was a fella who was the glue, who was conducting active plotting against the United States of America, putting American lives at risk." The source said taking out Soleimani had been Pompeo's mission for a decade.
Source: CNN.com on Trump Cabinet , Jan 9, 2020

Sanctions & withdrawal from deal will change Iran behavior

We don't want Iran to get a nuclear weapon. The previous administration put them on a pathway that virtually guaranteed that they could get there. So we withdrew from the ridiculous JCPOA and are moving ourselves towards a set of policies which will convince Iran to behave simply like a normal nation-- Our mission has been very clear: deny them the wealth and resources and their capacity to build out a nuclear program, and be prepared to do all that it takes to prevent that from happening.
Source: CBS Face the Nation 2019 interview , Jun 16, 2019

Oppose Iran setting up Hezbollah targeting in Golan Heights

[Trump issued a proclamation recognizing Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights, on March 25, 2019]. The Golan Heights were captured by Israel during the Six Day War in 1967 from the Syrian army, which used the strategic high ground overlooking Galilee to launch attacks on Israeli territory. Since then, the area has been recognised as highly strategic in maintaining Israel's dominance over the Syrian border.

Israel administered the Heights through military law until 1981, in the same way in which it administered the West Bank and Gaza Strip, before the Menachem Begin government directly applied Israeli law and effectively annexed the territory to the Israeli state.

At a meeting between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem yesterday, the Israeli premier accused Iran of aiming to set up a Hezbollah cell to target Israel from the Golan Heights, claiming Israel's sovereignty of the territory is for its security.

Source: Middle East Monitor on Trump Cabinet, "Golan Heights" , Mar 21, 2019

Withdraw from INF to counter Russia and China

Trump said that Russia has violated the INF. NATO said that if Moscow failed to destroy all new missile systems that Washington insists violate the treaty, "Russia will bear sole responsibility for the end of the treaty."

U.S. officials also have expressed worry that China, which is not party to the 1987 treaty, is gaining a significant military advantage by deploying large numbers of missiles with ranges beyond the treaty's limit. Leaving the INF treaty would allow the Trump administration to counter the Chinese, but it's unclear how it would do that.

Mike Pompeo said that Washington gave Moscow 60 days to return to compliance before it gave formal notice of withdrawal, with actual withdrawal taking place six months later.

A Russian deputy foreign minister said of the INF talks, "The position of the American side is very tough and like an ultimatum."

The US has no nuclear-capable missiles based in Europe; the last of that type and range were withdrawn in line with the INF treaty.

Source: Tyler (TX) Morning Telegraph on 2018 Trump Cabinet , Feb 1, 2019

Cease US joint military exercises with South Korea

Pompeo sees diplomacy as bloodsport. When he first met with Kim Jong Un in North Korea, the North Korean dictator immediately challenged Pompeo, who previously suggested North Koreans "would love to see Kim go." Pompeo didn't flinch. The CIA director joked that he was still trying to kill him, this former staffer said, and both men laughed.

Trump's meeting with Kim was long and productive, at least from the North Korean perspective. After the summit concluded, Trump announced that Pyongyang had "re-affirmed" its commitment to a denuclearized Korean peninsula and that the U.S. would cease its joint military exercises with South Korea, which he characterized as expensive and "very provocative."

The summit appeared to be a major win for North Korea based off the joint statement signed by the two leaders. One expert opined, "The president continues to say that Kim is giving up his nuclear weapons. Kim continues to refuse to promise that. I don't know how long they can keep fudging this."

Source: Vanity Fair on 2018 Trump Administration , Jun 18, 2018

OpEd: Supported Iraq war then & supports Iran war now

Rand Paul is vowing to do everything he can to stop Mike Pompeo from becoming secretary of state. The libertarian-leaning GOP senator said that Pompeo's earlier support for the Iraq war and defense of enhanced interrogation techniques--or "torture" in the view of Paul and many other senators--is disqualifying.

Paul serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where the GOP enjoys just a one-seat advantage. With Paul opposed, Pompeo could receive an unfavorable committee verdict, which would be a serious black mark on Pompeo's nomination.

Pompeo's previous pushes for regime change in Iran and his hawkish world view are also at odds with Trump and therefore he should not be given the job, Paul argued. "I'm perplexed by the nomination of people who love the Iraq War so much that they would advocate for a war with Iran next," Paul said. "it goes against most of the things Pres. Trump campaigned on, that the unintended consequences of regime change in Iraq led to instability in the Middle East."

Source: Politico.com on 2018 Trump Administration , Mar 14, 2018

Negotiate from strength to denuclearize North Korea

Pompeo staked out exceedingly ambitious goals for Donald Trump's upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Pompeo, an unsparing critic of the nuclear agreement with Iran, vowed to not repeat Barack Obama's mistakes. He promised that Pres. Trump would secure a better deal with North Korea, which already has a sophisticated nuclear-weapons arsenal, than his predecessor did with Iran, which had yet to acquire nuclear weapons.

"The previous administration was negotiating from a position of weakness. This administration will be negotiating from a position of enormous strength," Pompeo said. He noted that the Trump administration's international sanctions campaign had forced North Korea to engage diplomatically with the US and suspend its nuclear and missile tests while doing so. The administration's plan for the talks, he explained, is to maintain and increase economic pressure on North Korea while aiming for the "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of North Korea."

Source: The Atlantic magazine on 2018 Trump Cabinet , Mar 14, 2018

Caution with history of deceit by North Korea

Pompeo asserted that the US could compel North Korea to do what most experts believe North Korea never will: fully give up its nuclear weapons. Pompeo has noted North Korea's record of negotiating in bad faith.

He points to "the history of deceit" of the Kim regime, which overt the last 25 years has repeatedly reneged on commitments to curb its nuclear activities. At the CIA, where he established a center devoted to addressing North Korea, Pompeo has also been intimately acquainted with just how formidable the North Korean nuclear program has become. While he's characterized the Trump administration's ultimate goal as ridding North Korea of nuclear weapons, he's suggested that the administration's near-term objectives are more modest: keeping North Korea from progressing further than where it is, which is on the verge of perfecting the technology to place a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach the United States.

Source: The Atlantic magazine on 2018 Trump Administration , Mar 14, 2018

I opposed Iran deal; I'll gather clear-eyed info about it

Pompeo discussed how his transition would relate to specific policies areas such as the Iran nuclear deal and Russia. He said, "While as a Member of Congress I opposed the Iran deal, if confirmed, my role will change. It will be to drive the Agency to aggressively pursue collection operations and ensure analysts have the time, political space, and resources to make objective and methodologically sound judgments. If confirmed, I will present their judgments to policymakers. The same goes for Russia. It is a policy decision as to what to do with Russia, but I understand it will be essential that the Agency provide policymakers with accurate intelligence and clear-eyed analysis of Russian activities."
Source: Ballotpedia.org: 2017 Trump transition confirmation hearings , Jan 13, 2017

More resolve and less time-limit in Afghanistan

While I am pleased that the president has now finally announced his Afghanistan strategy and a troop level increase, it remains inexcusable that he took so long to do so. It is concerning too, that he has chosen not to provide the full level of resources and national commitment that our fighters on the ground deserve. The lack of decisive action--coupled with talk of exit ramps and the telegraphing of potential deadlines--serves to give aid and comfort to our enemies, to create at least some level of doubt as to our resolve.

It is time for the President to develop a strategy for success and make certain that our brave men and women in the field have the resources and support they need to execute that mission. Our enemy is not measured, but rather barbaric, ruthless and fully committed. If this war is necessary, then our response must be equal to that task and not limited in time and not fought with political correctness and restrictive rules of engagement driving policy and planning.

Source: Response to Pres. Obama's speech at West Point , Dec 1, 2009

Voted YES on banning armed forces in Libya without Congressional approval.

RESOLUTION Declaring that the President shall not deploy, establish, or maintain the presence of US Armed Forces in Libya, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution.
    The House of Representatives makes the following statements of policy:
  1. The US Armed Forces shall be used exclusively to defend and advance the national security interests of the US.
  2. The President has failed to provide Congress with a compelling rationale based upon US national security interests for current US military activities regarding Libya.
  3. The President shall not deploy, establish, or maintain the presence of units and members of the US Armed Forces on the ground in Libya unless the purpose of the presence is to rescue a member of the Armed Forces from imminent danger.
The President shall transmit a report describing in detail US security interests and objectives, and the activities of US Armed Forces, in Libya since March 19, 2011, including a description of the following:
  1. The President's justification for not seeking authorization by Congress for the use of military force in Libya.
  2. US political and military objectives regarding Libya, including the relationship between the intended objectives and the operational means being employed to achieve them.
  3. Changes in US political and military objectives following the assumption of command by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
  4. Differences between US political and military objectives regarding Libya and those of other NATO member states engaged in military activities.
  5. The specific commitments by the US to ongoing NATO activities regarding Libya.
  6. The anticipated scope and duration of continued US military involvement in Libya.
  7. The costs of military, political, and humanitarian efforts concerning Libya as of June 3, 2011.
Congress has the constitutional prerogative to withhold funding for any unauthorized use of the US States Armed Forces, including for unauthorized activities regarding Libya.
Reference: Resolution on Libya; Bill HRes294 ; vote number 11-HV410 on Jun 3, 2011

Voted NO on removing US armed forces from Afghanistan.

Congressional Summary:
    Directs the President, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution, to remove the U.S. Armed Forces from Afghanistan:
  1. by no later than 30 days after this resolution is adopted; or
  2. if the President determines that it is not safe to remove them by such date, by no later than December 31, 2011.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Kucinich, D-OH]:The American people oppose this war by a margin of two to one. Nearly 2/3 of Americans say the war isn't worth fighting. We are spending $100 billion per year on this war. There are those who are saying the war could last at least another 10 years. Are we willing to spend another $1 trillion on a war that doesn't have any exit plan, for which there is no timeframe to get out, no endgame, where we haven't defined our mission? The question is not whether we can afford to leave. The question is, can we afford to stay? And I submit we cannot afford to stay. The counterintelligence strategy of General Petraeus is an abysmal failure, and it needs to be called as such.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL]: This resolution would undermine the efforts of our military and our international partners in Afghanistan and would gravely harm our Nation's security. 3,000 people died on Sep. 11 because we walked away once from Afghanistan, thinking that it didn't matter who controlled that country. We were wrong then. Let us not make the same mistake twice. Completing our mission in Afghanistan is essential to keeping our homeland safe. This is about our vital national security interests. It is about doing what is necessary to ensure that al Qaeda and other extremists cannot reestablish safe havens such as the ones they had in Afghanistan when the 9/11 attacks were planned against our Nation and our people. The enemy, indeed, is on the run. It is demoralized and divided. Let us not give up now.

Reference: Resolution on Afghanistan; Bill HConRes28 ; vote number 11-HV193 on Mar 17, 2011

Supports a continued presence in Afghanistan.

Pompeo supports the PVS survey question on Afghanistan

Project Vote Smart infers candidate issue stances on key topics by summarizing public speeches and public statements. Candidates are given the opportunity to respond in detail; about 16% did so in the 2010 races.

Project Vote Smart summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: 'International Policy Issues: Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan?'

Source: Project Vote Smart 10-PVS-q17 on Nov 2, 2010

Boycott & sanctions against Iran for terrorism & nukes.

Pompeo signed Iran Threat Reduction Act

Source: H.R.1905 11-HR1905 on May 13, 2011

Iranian nuclear weapons: prevention instead of containment.

Pompeo co-sponsored Resolution on Iran's nuclear program

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, that Congress--
  1. Reaffirms that the US Government has a vital interest in working together to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
  2. warns that time is limited to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
  3. urges continued and increasing economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran until a full and sustained suspension of all uranium enrichment-related activities;
  4. expresses that the window for diplomacy is closing;
  5. expresses support for the universal rights and democratic aspirations of the people of Iran;
  6. strongly supports US policy to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
  7. rejects any US policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat.
Source: HRes568/SR41 12-HJR568 on Mar 1, 2012

Aid the Syrian opposition with training & equipment.

Pompeo voted YEA Military Aid to Syrian Opposition

Congressional Summary: H Amdt 1141 authorizes training and equipping appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition; requires detailed reports (including progress reports) on the plan, vetting process, and procedures for monitoring unauthorized end-use of provided training and equipment; and permits the Secretary of Defense to accept foreign contributions.

Statement in support by Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA-25): I offer an amendment to HJ.124 to provide authority to train and equip elements of the Syrian opposition in order to defend the Syrian people from attacks by ISIL and to protect the US and our friends and allies. ISIL is a clear and present threat to our allies across the Middle East and to the US. The President has requested the authority to train and equip nongovernmental entities fighting in the non-U.S.-led operation in Syria. There is no doubt that any strategy to defeat ISIL must contain a Syrian component. I believe that there are options to defeat ISIL in Syria short of a major U.S.-led combat operation. But the window of opportunity is closing.

Statement in opposition by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY-13): I don't see where the President needs authority to do what we are about to allow him to do because of a threat to the US. I haven't come close, in convincing [myself or my constituents] that training people overseas, that we don't know, to fight ISIS is in their best national interest. Already we have lost trillions of dollars and over 6,000 lives in this area, and I don't think we have yet to declare war. This honorable body [should] determine whether or not any enemy is a threat to the US and that we are going to go to war with them, that we should force every American to evaluate whether or not they believe that they are prepared to make sacrifices.

Legislative outcome: Amendment passed House 273-156-9 on 17-Sep-2014.

Source: Congressional vote 14-HJR124 on Sep 16, 2014

Let Israel decide on annexation of West Bank.

Justice Pompeo wrote the dissent on Resolution on Israeli Annexation on Jun 5, 2019:

Congressional summary: A resolution affirming the United States commitment to the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and noting that Israeli annexation of territory in the West Bank would undermine peace,, harm Israel's relationship with its Arab neighbors, threaten Israel's Jewish and democratic identity, and undermine Israel's security.

Aljazeera summary, 4/22/20: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that it was Israel's decision whether to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, and the US will offer its views on this to the new Israeli government in private. "As for the annexation of the West Bank, the Israelis will ultimately make those decisions," Pompeo told reporters. Israel's intention--in accordance with President Trump's Middle East plan--to annex the Jordan Valley and illegal Jewish settlements would defy international law. Last year, the Trump administration said it would no longer abide by a 1978 State Department legal opinion that the settlements were "inconsistent with international law".

Letter to Secretary Pompeo from 13 members of Congress on 6/30/20: We express our deep concern over the planned annexation of occupied Palestinian territory by the government of Israel. Annexing parts of the West Bank will perpetuate and entrench human rights violations against the Palestinian people, including limitations on freedom of movement and mass expropriation of privately-owned Palestinian land. Furthermore, Israel has stated it will not grant citizenship to Palestinians living in annexed territory or to the many more Palestinians living in the isolated enclaves that Israel will opt not to annex, paving the path toward an apartheid system. Already existing Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, amount to a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Legislative outcome: Never reached a vote.

Source: Supreme Court case 20-SRes234 argued on Jun 5, 2019

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