Speaking on the sidelines of a key NATO meeting taking place in Brussels this month, Sec. of State Mike Pompeo defended Trump’s foreign policy agenda and called for the creation of a “new world order.” His 20-minute speech to foreign diplomats is a great example of how he has been able to rise to international prominence so quickly.
“Bad actors [China, Iran, and Russia] have exploited our lack of leadership for their own gain,” said Pompeo. Under President Trump, “We are acting to preserve, protect, and advance an open, just, transparent, and free world of sovereign states.”
Pompeo left his position as CIA head in April to accept the position of Secretary following Trump’s decision to fire Rex Tillerson. As America’s top foreign affairs adviser, he has displayed remarkable negotiating skills, smart rhetoric, and staunch support for President Trump’s foreign policy decisions.
Pompeo is currently in Brussels for talks with foreign officials at NATO, where Trump has repeatedly criticized European members for failing to spend at least 2% of GDP on defense. Those same members are now begging Trump not to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Moscow because they fear doing so would endanger the safety of the entire continent.
“In the finest traditions of our great democracy, we are rallying the noble nations to build a new liberal order that prevents war and achieves greater prosperity,” continued Pompeo. “This project will require actual – not pretend – restoration of the liberal order among nations. It will require an assertive America and leadership from not only my country, but of democracies around the world.”
Pompeo dismissed claims that America was acting unilaterally or in isolation and pushed back against critics frustrated by Trump’s decision to withdraw from the JCPOA and the Paris Climate Accord, his decision to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and his support for Brexit.
Treaties – once broken – must be “fixed or discarded,” said Pompeo. “Our Administration is thus lawfully exiting or renegotiating outdated or harmful treaties, trade agreements, and other international arrangements that don’t serve our sovereign interests, or the interest of our allies.”
Signing treaties with other nations isn’t enough, he added.
“Multilateralism has, too often, become viewed as an end unto itself. The more treaties we sign, the safer we supposedly are.”
Pompeo insisted the Trump Administration was “boldly reasserting” the kind of American leadership that won the Cold War, reunited Germany, and helped create the international organizations needed to maintain global order following the end of WWII. But he also criticized some of those organization – including the World Bank, United Nations, and International Monetary Fund – for losing sight of their initial goals.
“Every nation must honestly acknowledge its responsibility to its citizens and ask if the current international order serves the good of its people as well as it could. And if not, we must ask how we can right it.”
Editor’s note: Pompeo is starting to feel more and more comfortable on the world stage. If all goes well, look for a 2024 Presidential bid.