A "timid and unprepared" President Joe Biden was preparing to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin with a "self-dealt weak hand," according to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
In an op-ed for Fox News on Tuesday, Pompeo wrote that Biden opted to abandon leverage created by the Trump administration in dealing with Russia.
"Sadly, for American security, he shows up with a self-dealt weak hand that could have been much stronger,” Pompeo said. "We in the Trump administration created real leverage against Russia he could have used. Instead, he has chosen to abandon it."
According to Pompeo, Biden’s approach will be exploited by Putin.
"Even in just a few months in office, Biden has already signaled to Putin that he is timid and unprepared to confront the Russian challenge – a weakness that ex-KGB agent Putin surely senses," Pompeo said.
Pompeo also said Biden must convince Russia that it is against its long-term interest to align with China, and should make clear to Putin that "cozying up to China will make his country a tributary state to the Chinese Communist Party."
The former secretary said former President Donald Trump and his administration were tougher on Russia than any other presidency since the end of the Cold War — something the mainstream media refused to acknowledge.
Pompeo cited unprecedented sanctions imposed against Russian entities, arming U.S. friends in Ukraine to resist Russian aggression, and convincing NATO allies to pay $400 billion in new defense spending, as ways Trump showed Russia that America remained strong, the New York Post reported.
Biden has "begun squandering this leverage" by promoting climate change as his top national security priority, said Pompeo, who added the president told a story that, when he was vice president, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had told him "global warming" was "the greatest threat facing America."
"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," Pompeo said. "It tells aggressors that our strategic priorities are out of whack, and we are ripe to be taken advantage of. 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 said Biden should be skeptical of any promises made by Putin regarding global warming, and such assurances would be "hollow."
"Russia is a major petroleum producing nation that will gain geopolitical leverage worldwide if America cuts back our oil and gas production," Pompeo said. "A Climate Change First agenda is foolish in more ways than one."
Pompeo criticized Biden's decision to cancel 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," Pompeo said.
The former CIA director and ex-congressman, citing two major cyberattacks on critical infrastructure by Russian-based hackers, also said Biden should 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.
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