Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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Former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo Big New Claim

“No other country could have done what we did that night,” wrote Mike Pompeo.

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote in a book published Tuesday that India and Pakistan came close to nuclear war in 2019 and that US intervention prevented escalation.

“I don’t think the world quite knows how close the rivalry between India and Pakistan was to a nuclear conflagration in February 2019,” the likely future presidential candidate wrote in “Never Give an Inch,” his memoir of his time as president. Donald Trump’s top diplomat and former CIA chief.

India broke precedent in February 2019 by launching airstrikes on Pakistani territory after blaming a terror group there for a suicide bombing that killed 41 CRPF Jawans in Kashmir. India shot down an F-16 during a dogfight where an Indian fighter plane was shot down by Pakistan and the pilot was captured by them.

Pompeo, who was in Hanoi for a summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said he was awakened by an urgent phone call from a senior Indian official.

“He believed the Pakistanis had begun to prepare their nuclear weapons for an attack. India, he told me, was considering its own escalation,” Pompeo wrote.

“I asked him to do nothing and give us a minute to sort things out,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo said US diplomats have convinced both India and Pakistan that neither was preparing to go nuclear.

“No other country could have done what we did that night to avoid a terrible outcome,” Pompeo wrote.

Pompeo, who wrote that Pakistan “probably enabled” the attack on Kashmir, said he spoke to “Pakistan’s de facto leader”, then army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, in an allusion to the weakness of civilian governments.

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At the time, Pompeo was publicly defending India’s right to act. In his book, Pompeo spoke highly of India and, unlike officials in New Delhi, made no secret of his desire to ally with South Asian democracy “to counter Chinese aggression”.

India, followed by Pakistan, tested nuclear bombs in 1998, a turning point. Then-US President Bill Clinton later famously said that Kashmir was “the most dangerous place in the world”.

“I’m still trying to kill you”

Pompeo writes extensively in the book about his diplomacy with Kim Jong Un, including preparing three meetings between the young totalitarian leader and Trump.

He recalled a chilling first conversation when he flew to Pyongyang on a clandestine trip in March 2018 as CIA director.

“‘I didn’t think you’d show up. I know you tried to kill me,'” Pompeo quotes Kim telling him.

“I decided to join with a bit of humor of my own: ‘Mr. Chairman, I’m still trying to kill you.'”

But Pompeo described a budding rapport with Kim as the Trump administration offered incentives to ease tensions.

Referring to Kim’s smoking habit, Pompeo wrote that he told Kim he would take him to “the most beautiful beach in Miami and smoke the best Cubanos in the world. He told me, ‘I already have a great relationship with the Castros.’ Of course he did.”

As for their substantive conversation, Pompeo said Kim spoke candidly about concerns about China, usually seen as North Korea’s main ally.

Told that China believes North Korea wants U.S. troops out of South Korea, Kim “laughed and pounded the table in sheer joy, exclaiming that the Chinese were liars.”

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Kim “said he needed the Americans in South Korea to protect him from the CCP, and the CCP needs the Americans so they can treat the peninsula like Tibet and Xinjiang,” Pompeo wrote, referring to the Chinese Communist Party .

xi ‘hate you’

Pompeo became known for his aggressive stance on China, controversially accusing Beijing of spreading the “Wuhan virus”, in a derogatory reference to Covid-19.

He said Trump nicknamed him that Chinese President Xi Jinping “hate you” and asked Pompeo to “shut up for a while” as the United States needed health supplies from China.

“I was not happy that the president had tweeted that the CCP was handling the virus well and praised Xi,” Pompeo said.

“But I understood the circumstances – we needed medical equipment and were at the mercy of the CCP for it. I worked for the president and I would bide my time.”

Pompeo has not ruled out running against Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, though early polls show little support for Pompeo.

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