Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Biden administration has "failed" in its withdrawal from Afghanistan as the Taliban is poised to retake control of the country and the U.S. is ending its nearly 20-year military presence there.
Pompeo also pushed back against President Biden's claim that he inherited a bad situation from his predecessor, former President Donald Trump.
"It looks like the Biden administration has just failed in its execution of its own plan," Pompeo told "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace.
The Taliban, the Islamic extremist group that the U.S. had removed from power following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, due to their harboring of mastermind Usama bin Laden, has taken over large portions of Afghanistan, and Sunday morning was poised to take the capital city of Kabul. Meanwhile, the U.S. is evacuating its embassy.
American forces are scheduled to complete their withdrawal by the end of August, but Pompeo said the administration should not just allow the Taliban to take over.
"We should put pressure on them, we should inflict costs and pain on them," Pompeo said. The former secretary said the Taliban becoming "aggressive" and "fearless" is the latest result of the Biden administration not putting effective deterrence measures in place.
"We've had Iranian rockets land in Israel, we've handed a pipeline back to the Russians, we've allowed the Chinese to castigate our senior leadership in Anchorage, now we're allowing the Taliban to run free and wild all around Afghanistan," he said.
Biden has blamed the Trump administration for making a deal with the Taliban that led to the withdrawal. In 2019, Trump criticized the ongoing U.S. presence in Afghanistan, claiming that American forces had been serving as "policemen" for 19 years and should not be doing so anymore.
"If the risks weren’t so serious, Chris, it would be pathetic," Pompeo said about Biden blaming the Trump administration. Pompeo added that the U.S. reduced their forces in Afghanistan under Trump, but the Taliban did not rise up they way they are now.
Pompeo said that while Trump had planned on pulling out of Afghanistan, he would not have allowed the Taliban to take over. He said the deal the Trump administration reached with the Taliban called for "a conditions-based withdrawal" and allowed the U.S. to take action if necessary.
"We made abundantly clear that if they did not live up to that piece of paper … we weren't going to allow them to just walk away from any deal that they struck, we were going to go crush them," Pompeo said.
Biden earlier this week said he does not regret his timeframe for withdrawal from Afghanistan, arguing Americans have already suffered too much injury and death in the country and Afghans have "got to fight for themselves."
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.