President Trump’s nomination of Mike Pompeo to be the next secretary of state is an incredibly smart move for the current foreign policy landscape and the future of U.S. diplomacy.
All of Mike Pompeo’s life has prepared him for this moment. As a West Point graduate, U.S. Army captain, Harvard-trained lawyer, husband, father, congressman, and director of the CIA, he has had experiences that make him well-qualified to lead the State Department and be effective as America’s top diplomat.
His foreign policy expertise comes from his experience leading America’s premier intelligence agency, the CIA, and his service on the House Intelligence Committee, where he helped shape our country’s foreign policy and national security decisions.
Pompeo’s service as a captain in the U.S. Army gives him a critical perspective on issues of war and peace. He understands the threats the United States faces globally and is poised to address them with strength and diplomacy.
Pompeo is a man of great character who has been scandal free during his time as a public figure, a noteworthy accomplishment in Washington. The world will know that Pompeo is a man of his word, someone who can be trusted, and a man on whom our allies can depend. He is smart, measured and, most important, retains the confidence of the president.
It is very difficult to conduct diplomacy when the foreign country questions whether you speak for the president. Secretary Rex Tillerson had this issue because of disagreements with Trump. Pompeo has the trust and confidence of the president that will translate into credibility with our allies and enemies. Everyone will know that when Mike Pompeo speaks, it is on the behalf of the president of the United States.
Pompeo has led the Central Intelligence Agency in its effort to confront the threats to our nation’s safety and security. The CIA quickly provided the president with a high-confidence assessment that the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons against its people, paving the way for missile strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons facilities. The CIA worked with the Department of Defense and U.S. allies to target ISIS leadership and reduce ISIS territorial holdings in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.
Under Pompeo, the CIA established mission centers focused specifically on North Korea and Iran to counter the danger they pose to the United States, our allies, and regional and global stability.
Pompeo has played a critical role in providing intelligence that shaped the administration’s China policy. Pompeo focused much-needed public attention on non-state hostile intelligence services like WikiLeaks that seek to obtain and disseminate America’s secrets, jeopardizing our national security personnel and interests.
In his first trip abroad as CIA director, Pompeo pressed U.S. partners in the Middle East to do more to stop terror funding and the promotion of extremist ideology, including through educational materials. Pompeo has worked with European partners to combat threats to election integrity posed by Russia in the United States and across Europe.
Pompeo has the experience, character, skill set and the confidence of the president. He is ready for the job. Some Democrats say they oppose him because he is not interested in diplomacy. The reality is he is not interested in the tenets of Obama-era diplomacy: leading from behind, retrenchment and meaningless red lines.
Republicans did not agree with all the views of John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, but each received more than 90 votes in support of their nominations because they were considered to be qualified for the role. Pompeo is also qualified and deserves the same level of support. At a minimum, he is entitled to the support of the 14 Democrats who supported his confirmation to be director of the CIA.
It’s disappointing that the Democrats oppose this nominee for the position of secretary of state, especially when the country faces threats from Russia, China, North Korea, Syria, and Iran. Pompeo has done a sterling job at the CIA, and America needs a secretary of state now.
Pompeo has proven himself to be an outstanding director of the CIA, a successful negotiator and diplomat. Senate Democrats need to join Republicans and put the national security interests of our country ahead of their political vendetta against the president.