Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is urging President Biden to make the most of the leverage established by the Trump administration in his upcoming assembly with Russian President Vladimir Putin — saying the president is getting into the summit with “a self-dealt weak hand” and has “already signaled to Putin that he is timid and unprepared to confront the Russian challenge.”
“Sadly, for American security, he shows up with a self-dealt weak hand that could have been much stronger,” Pompeo wrote in an opinion piece posted on Fox News Tuesday. “We in the Trump administration created real leverage against Russia he could have used. Instead, he has chosen to abandon it.”
Pompeo listed off a litany of measures put in place by former President Donald Trump’s international coverage to curb Russia’s affect, including nevertheless that Biden “has already begun squandering this leverage, in part by telegraphing climate change as his top national security priority.”
“Encouraging our warfighters to adopt this ridiculous mindset – one apparently shared by what are supposed to be some of America’s most gifted military leaders – is extremely dangerous. It tells aggressors that our strategic priorities are out of whack, and we are ripe to be taken advantage of,” the previous secretary of state wrote.
“Biden needs to make clear to Putin that our military places Russian aggression in the highest echelon of threats, and he will support our armed forces in deterring it.”
Pompeo additionally warned that any promise by the Russian President on the problem of “global warming” ought to be met with skepticism, given Putin’s incentive to profit from an American “Climate Change First agenda.”
“Any promises Putin makes of tackling climate change together are hollow. Russia is a major petroleum producing nation that will gain geopolitical leverage worldwide if America cuts back our oil and gas production. A Climate Change First agenda is foolish in more ways than one,” he wrote.
“Biden showed rank hypocrisy in canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline while allowing Russia to complete the Nord Stream 2 pipeline supplying gas to Germany. This senseless move will cause America’s allies to become more dependent on Russian energy,” he continued, referring to Biden’s announcement final month that he can be waiving sanctions towards the Russian-owned firm behind the controversial Nord Stream 2 gasoline pipeline to Germany as a result of “it’s almost completely finished.”
Following two main cyber assaults on essential infrastructure by Russian-based hackers, Pompeo urged in his op-ed that Biden confront Putin by insisting that “cyberattacks will be addressed in no different a manner than other attacks on America from Russian soil.”
“Biden should also threaten a merciless cyber response against Russia if government-backed cyberattacks and meddling in our democracy continue – one that should strike at the heart of Russia’s security apparatus and Putin’s inner circle of kleptocrats, if necessary,” Pompeo wrote.
Pointing out that former President Donald Trump’s nationwide safety group coordinated to present the White House extra authority to reply to cyberattacks, Pompeo stated that “Biden must use that latitude to hunt down and cripple these digital terrorists, and demand that Putin likewise refuse to let them operate with impunity inside Russia.”
Finally, Pompeo wrote, Biden should persuade Russia that it’s towards their curiosity in the long term to align themselves with China — and that the US president ought to clarify to Putin that “cozying up to China will make his country a tributary state to the Chinese Communist Party.”
The former secretary of state, pointing to areas of mutual profit within the US-Russia relationship, added that “there is still room to cooperate on narrow common interests.”
“Biden must demand that critical areas of security cooperation continue,” he wrote, warning nevertheless that “[I]f Biden apologizes for America or casts pie-in-the-sky visions for cooperation, Putin will sense weakness, and America’s Russia policy will be in for a long three and a half years.”