Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined “Special Report with Bret Baier” Monday to discuss the peace deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan, saying the Trump administration has been able to do what the Obama administration could not.
“What we’ve done is fundamentally different than what the Obama administration did. Indeed, we accomplished what they tried to do, but could not,” Pompeo said. “They never got the Taliban to break with Al Qaeda and they never got a commitment that says, ‘If you execute the following conditions based — That is, if the violence levels come down. That is, if the security posture for the United States of America is reduced, then and only then will we begin to deliver a commensurate footprint inside of your country.'”
The United States signed a historic peace treaty with Taliban militants on Saturday, aimed at ending the 18-year war in Afghanistan that began after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Baier pressed Pompeo on whether or not the Taliban was making a true break from Al Qaeda.
“Al Qaeda is mentioned twice in the passages, in the report, in the language. It says, ‘it will not allow any of its members or other individuals or groups, including Al Qaeda, to use the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies,'” Baier said. “But that’s not really a break.”
Pompeo pushed back saying, “They’re not going to let them operate [there] anymore… That is a central provision.”
The Secretary also responded to conflicting comments and statements by parties in Afghanistan.
“I’ve seen lots of remarks. Just watch what really happens. Pay less attention to statements. Pay less than attention to things people say. Watch what happens on the ground there,” Pompeo said. “There’s been a lot of work done at detailed levels about how this will proceed. So far, so good. We’re just hours into this. I’m sure we’ll have days when we start and say that the problems are big. But we’re determined and the president’s made this commitment.”
Pompeo said he was “hopeful” all would work out adding that the end goal was to look out for the troops, stop terrorism and cut costs.
“Our mission set is to protect America from the threat of terrorism from Afghanistan, to reduce our cost,” Pompeo said. “I was a CIA director. I was a soldier. I want to see fewer Americans having to make their third, fourth and fifth trip there and fewer Americans coming home injured, maimed or worse yet never having a chance to be with their loved ones again. That’s the president’s mission. That’s what this agreement is aiming to achieve.”
Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.