This week, the Senate is expected to vote on the nomination of current CIA Director Mike Pompeo to serve as secretary of state. As The Heritage Foundation noted, Pompeo’s clear-eyed understanding of the threats America faces today, as well as his firm commitment to U.S. alliances, make him an excellent choice for the post.
During his tenure at the CIA, Director Pompeo effectively promoted U.S. national security interests by countering the efforts of ISIS, Assad, North Korea, China, and Russia when they interfered with American interests abroad. Pompeo has the right experience to become the nation’s top diplomat: He is a military veteran, was a conservative member of Congress (Heritage Action score 85 percent), and is current Director of the CIA.
As director, Pompeo delivered a high-confidence assessment to the president that the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons against its people leading to the recent U.S.-UK-French missile strikes. He led the CIA in working with other agencies and U.S. allies to target ISIS leadership and reduce ISIS territorial holdings in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere; and established mission centers focused specifically on North Korea and Iran to counter the threats both countries pose to the United States and our allies. Pompeo also provided critical intelligence on China and worked with European partners to combat Russian threats to election integrity in both the U.S. and Europe.
Several Heritage Foundation experts in national security and foreign policy have expressed their support for the Pompeo nomination, writing:
The president’s decision to nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo as the next secretary of state is wise and timely. . . . As director, he has managed intelligence collection, analysis, covert action, and counterintelligence and led a diverse set of liaison relationships with foreign intelligence services around the globe. His investment of countless hours with the heads of intelligence and security services in dozens of countries has provided him a phenomenal foundation on which to deepen America’s diplomatic ties in foreign capitals.
Nile Gardiner, Director of The Heritage Foundation's Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, noted that Pompeo, like President Trump, has been highly skeptical of the deeply flawed and extremely weak Iran nuclear deal signed by the Obama administration, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Gardiner notes Pompeo “will be instrumental in efforts to rally America’s partners in Europe to strengthen the deal. If European allies are unwilling to do so, Trump has made it clear he will withdraw from the agreement in May.”
According to The Heritage Foundation’s James Jay Carafano, Vice President of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, and the E. W. Richardson Fellow: “Duty, honor, country is not just the motto of where he went to school [West Point]. It’s how he has lived his public life and what will make him a great Secretary of State.”
Our country will be well-served with Pompeo as secretary of state. Heritage summarized the choice the Senate faces: “We trust he will receive an expeditious and bipartisan confirmation process so that he can get on with the business of building America’s core diplomatic capabilities and implementing a sound foreign policy vision.”