Pompeo slams Biden admin for ‘failed’ Kabul strike, says military was under 'enormous' political pressure

Speaking with Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Pompeo noted that “it’s obviously a tragedy that civilians were killed” and argued that the botched strike “is just another piece of an evacuation that was driven by politics” and not driven by “putting America first.” 

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Head of the U.S. Central Command Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. announced Friday that it is unlikely any ISIS-K members were killed in the Kabul drone strike on August 29, which led to multiple civilian casualties.

According to U.S. officials, the strike on the vehicle, formerly believed to have been a threat that included bombs and that was operated by ISIS-K militants, took place after a suicide bombing at Kabul airport in Afghanistan killed 13 U.S. service members and civilians.

“It looks like they were in a rush,” Pompeo told host Maria Bartiromo. “They were in a hurry.” 

“You could see the political pressure and if there was one thing that drove this failed evacuation was the arbitrary political deadline that President Biden set, the arbitrary cap on the number of troops that could be there so we could secure [the] American departure and the departure of our equipment,” he continued. 

“Those things, these were all political decisions driven down to the military and I’m confident that the military was under enormous pressure.” 

He stressed that the strike “failed to deliver to protect America and killed civilians.”

Pompeo also blasted the Biden administration’s handling of the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan on Sunday, arguing that the administration’s credibility was “damaged deeply.”  

 A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. 

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The Biden administration withdrew all U.S. military assets from Afghanistan on August 31. National security officials have said the mission there has shifted from a military one to a diplomatic mission.

“I don’t see how the Biden administration gets back from this space,” Pompeo said.

“I hope they’ll begin to recognize that their credibility around the world was damaged deeply by how they executed this withdrawal,” he added.

Roughly 100 American citizens who want to leave Afghanistan remain in the country as of the end of last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during congressional testimony Monday. 

Pompeo pointed to the administration’s “failure to work alongside allies” and to “make sure we got our allies and friends out of the country.” 

He stressed that the Biden administration needs to “make clear that we’re not going back to what we were doing for the last eight years of the Obama administration, which is weakness on the world stage.” 

“This was a takeover by a group of terrorists and we should make doubly sure that we never recognize the Taliban as the rightful leaders of Afghanistan,” he said. 

Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Brooke Singman, Peter Hasson, and Kyle Morris contributed to this report. 

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