Mike Pompeo

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Mike Pompeo

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You are Mike Pompeo, the newly appointed Secretary of State of the United States of America. With former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s controversial and heavily-publicized departure, you play an instrumental role in the Trump Administration’s heavily-scrutinized State Department. You were selected by President Donald Trump for your hawkish attitude regarding foreign policy (reflected in your time as a Congressman from Kansas) and your brief tenure as the Director of the CIA. Once a military officer out of West Bank, then a lawyer at a top firm, then a business executive, and ultimately a three-term Kansas Congressman, you have skills and unparalleled experience in many different realms. In addition, you served on the intelligence committee and the energy and commerce panel while in Congress, giving you the opportunity to build relationships with prominent experts and officials in those spheres. You are conservative, aggressive when it comes to foreign affairs, and unquestionably pro-Trump, which has led to a fair bit of criticism from the media. You tend to agree with Trump despite harsh words from your opponents on the left, and you undoubtedly are one of his most trusted advisors in government. It is important that you maintain your aggressive, conservative attitude while keeping in mind that there will be times that you must be straightforward with the President despite a disagreement in opinion. As CIA Director, you were able to get away with expressing your Pro-Trump sentiments so long as they did not substantially intertwine with your duties; however, you are now the Secretary of State and your decisions will not always be able to parallel the President’s. If you continue with your constant, undying defense of President Trump you may quickly become the next media field day and the next Tillerson...


Relevant Quotes

“You know, we have to call evil by its name in order to stamp it out. Downplaying atrocities and rampages ensures more of them. Every Muslim leader must unequivocally proclaim that terror committed in the name of Islam violates the core tenets of the Prophet Mohammed, and they must do so repeatedly, period.”

“I continue to be concerned not only about the Russians but about others' efforts as well. We have many foes who want to undermine Western democracy. So there's this Washington-based focus on Russian interference. I want to make sure we broaden the conversation.”

“It is difficult to imagine a stable Syria that still has Assad in power. He is a puppet of the Iranians and therefore it seems an unlikely situation where Assad will be sitting on the throne and America's interests will be well served.” "I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal [the Iran Nuclear Deal] with the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism."

“We must stand with our ally Israel and put a stop to terrorism. Ongoing attacks by the Palestinians serve only to distance the prospect of peace.”

“The US can’t do it on our own, obviously the Saudis can’t do it on their own, these other countries can’t do it on their own. But together in some kind of coalition of countries – of Arab countries working with the US, working with Israel, working with Turkey, to build a strong coalition that can [...] target terrorists in that region…”

“We’ve seen [the Saudis] work with the Israelis to push back against terrorism throughout the Middle East, to the extent we can continue to develop those relationships and work alongside them – the Gulf states and broader Middle East will likely be more secure.”


Roles and Responsibility of the Secretary of State

You are tasked with being the chief diplomat for the administration. You are the one who is to be engaged with direct negotiations with differing parties. A Secretary of State has a strong presence in the diplomatic sphere, their attention to a given problem demonstrating that the U.S. is deeply concerned with its resolution. The Secretary of State answers only to the President, meaning that when you speak, other actors listen intently. Your words carry great weight, as do your promises. This is something that you will have to remember; the Secretary of State speaks for the United States. You are often responsible for establishing policies for how the United States will conduct itself abroad. As head of the Department of State, you are responsible for managing all of the diplomatic efforts of the United States. While answerable to the President, your statements are generally taken as statements of policy for the United States. This gives you tremendous power in the international arena.

As a Secretary of State you must conduct yourself carefully. Because you are seen to be so important, your words can be tremendously damaging. A statement of support to the wrong person at the wrong time may be seen as the backing for an action you did not intend, or it may be made public to discredit the administration. You must make sure that you understand the problem and that you tailor each of your remarks carefully, in order to avoid making a potentially damaging gaffe. For this reason, the Senior Foreign Policy Advisor will be a close ally. Their remarks are considered nowhere near as binding as those of a Secretary of State. By working in close concert with the Senior Foreign Policy Advisor, you can ascertain what policies will float and which will sink, before committing yourself or the president. It is also important to consider how you can support allies abroad. Because you carry so much prestige, a simple visit from you can serve to demonstrate that the United States supports a particular leader or a particular path. Every action you take must be well thought out and planned.

While the Senior Advisor is tasked with laying the foundation of negotiations, a Secretary of State is tasked with bringing abstract ideas into reality. While an envoy might speak in hypotheticals, such as, "Would Israel be willing to consider a one for one land trade in the area surrounding Jerusalem," the Secretary of State deals with concrete ideas, "Is Israel willing to accept a one for one land trade?" In negotiations, you are the last stop before the President of the United States is brought into negotiations. This means that you must advance negotiations and use the power of your presence and office to make both sides confront difficult realities. This also means that until you are ready to begin negotiating concrete resolutions, the Secretary of State generally works behind the scenes, and with the media.

The media will be your primary tool, outside of direct negotiations. The media will serve as an implement through which you can put large amounts of pressure on various actors. Your primary goal will be to get different actors to the table and ready to discuss real change. By using the media, you can support your Senior Advisor's actions by making it clear what the U.S. supports and what it does not. You can also support other actors who share the same position. The Secretary of State must also use the media as a means by which to rally other nations to the American cause. While the Senior Advisor may be focused on a specific task, you should look afield to find other nations who can lend you their voices and support. By using your prestige and power, you can utilize the media to encourage allies to join you by demonstrating your support for a particular idea. You have an incredibly powerful and demanding position. Because of America's role in the Middle East, a U.S. Secretary of State must tread carefully, and cautiously, but be willing to act when the time is right. You are the chief diplomat of the most powerful nation in the world. As such, much is expected from you.


Your Earlier Years and Education

A California native, you were born December 30, 1963 in Orange County. You grew up exclusively in the Orange County/Los Angeles Metropolitan Area, and you excelled in both academics and basketball in your youth. Considered extraordinarily intelligent by those around you at an early age, you were ultimately accepted to the prestigious U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and you graduated at the top of your class, with a degree in engineering. After serving for several years as an officer overseas (with experience in both the Cold War and the Gulf War), you opted to continue your educational pursuits, attending the prestigious Harvard Law School, where you were heavily involved in editing the world-renowned Harvard Law Review. After graduating Harvard Law School, you practiced law for several years, working for one of the top Washington D.C. law firms. Ultimately, your career path changed, and you went into the business world, working as an executive for two large firms, where you made connections to prominent politicians and donors in the conservative realm. You would utilize these connections soon enough… Eventually, you decided that it was time to leave the private sector, and you successfully ran for a House of Representatives seat in your current home state of Kansas, where your previous business ventures were located. Taking an important role on several influential Congressional committees, you gained the support of many prominent Republicans across the country, and became better known in the eyes of the public.


Beliefs and Policies Pertaining to the Middle East

As Secretary Pompeo, you believe that aggressive action is the key to solving complex issues, even if your action plans require brutal honesty with the general public and your colleagues in the State Department. Your past as a company executive taught you to put the needs of the company first, and it follows that you will act in a similar fashion when you are Secretary of State. You hold the belief that securing strong relationships with those around you, including those in other governments, is integral to success, and you are willing to take steps to secure these relationships even if they are widely considered controversial. As an adamant Trump supporter, and perhaps an even bigger supporter of big business, you will constantly be the subject of harsh words from the national and international media, which you must learn to disregard. You are following in the footsteps of the controversial Rex Tillerson, who was accused of being far too weak in responding to Trump’s arguably extreme policies on the Middle East as well as his apparent openness to Russia. There will undoubtedly come a time where you and President Trump disagree on a particular policy issue, and you must learn to keep the State Department somewhat disconnected from the rhetoric of the President; in fact, if you fail to do so and simply become a pawn to the President, you will surely suffer in terms of the public’s opinion of you. You must learn to both work with the President and to keep him as informed as possible; any foreign policy mishaps that occur during the Trump Era will fall on you just as much as they will on the President. At the same time, however, you have a history, especially as a Congressman, of making controversial statements that contradict the ideal U.S. public image that officials work hard to portray. You are open about your support of torture and your harsh opinions on American Muslims, and you must be careful to keep these opinions moderate (or hidden!) as Secretary of State. You are no longer simply a public servant and representative of the State of Kansas; the fate of this nation lies with you, at least in a certain sense. You must learn to cater to the American majority and to craft policies that you feel would make America better off. This may be your greatest challenge: you are accustomed to authority, action, and acting largely on your own, but you must learn to temper your responses and actions in order to account for your lack of experience within the realm of foreign affairs and diplomacy.


You are a complex player with regard to the Arab-Israeli Conflict. On the one hand, you are extremely conservative in that you, like President Trump, are very Pro-Israel (by which we mean that you are strongly supportive of the policies of the Netanyahu Government). You support the existence of a democratic Jewish state and you are extremely vocal about your negative opinions on Palestinian terrorism in the State of Israel. You are a supporter of the two-state solution, like most of the Trump administration, and you plan on working to guarantee that Israel and the U.S. maintain a positive relationship in the future. As a Congressman from Kansas, you paid a visit to Israel a few years back and met with Israeli officials in Jerusalem. You commended Israeli policing and safety precautions, and you condemned Palestinian attacks on Israeli citizens. You have stated that the Iranian regime poses a significant threat to both Israel and the U.S., and you have promised to revoke the Obama-administration Era nuclear deal with Iran. As CIA Director, you were in constant communication with Israeli intelligence and political officials, and you worked to maintain the positive relationship between the Trump administration and the current Israeli government.


On the other hand, despite your staunch pro-Israel views, you opposed the embassy move to Jerusalem, and privately met with President Trump (as CIA Director), asking him to reconsider the decision. You understand the repercussions of angering the Palestinian people, as you are well-acquainted with a number of Palestinian officials, notably Palestinian Authority (PA) intelligence chief Majid Faraj. You have met with Mr. Faraj and other PA officials a number of times, and you are credited with helping to ease the tensions between the PA and the U.S. after the embassy move was announced by President Trump. You promised Palestinian officials that the U.S. would not leave the PA out of future negotiations and discussions with Israel, so long as they worked to keep the peace between the PA and Israel. Palestinian officials are reported to believe that you may be the only hope for reduced tensions between the PA and the U.S. in the future. You must work to balance your commitment to the Palestinian community with your promises to support a democratic Jewish state in Israel. Finally, you believe that it is necessary for the U.S. to form a coalition with moderate Muslim nations, such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey, to combat terrorism and Iran, which you believe to be a sponsor of international terrorism. You have expressed optimism that Saudi-Israeli relations will improve over time, and you believe that this is a key to creating lasting peace in the Middle East.


Role-Playing Notes


Due to both the controversial election of President Trump and your own appointment, there is a lot of pressure on you, and a lot of eyes watching. Because you work so close to the President, much of your job will require interpreting and likely watering down much of his words. You must work to balance your pro-Trump tendencies and your connections with big Republican donors with the interests of the U.S. You will be the aggressive business executive of the State Department, manipulating the situation to best suit the interests of the United States, while people are distracted by the blustering leader in the White House. It will be a dynamic but possibly turbulent pairing, and it is important that when you act you remember that you are known to be shrewd and professional. You will have to maintain a tight hold on any semblance of temper or dramatics--that will be the role of the President. You must keep your cool even in times of conflict to assure the general public that you will be a moderating influence on the Trump administration. When you are confronted with questions about your links with wealthy Republican donors, and your former colleagues in the midwestern oil industry, you must remember to assure the general public that these sources of influence will not affect your decision-making with regard to foreign policy. These are responses that demonstrate the ruthlessness of your rationalism--you are not afraid to do what is unpopular in order to serve the interests of the organization that you lead. Your background, like that of your predecessor, is linked to the oil business, as well as tax law, and this means that you will likely feel most comfortable talking about economic issues. In addition, your experience in the Cold War and the Gulf War will make you a confident speaker regarding conflicts overseas, especially in tense regions like the Middle East. You are the type of man who is used to being listened to and who is comfortable talking to powerful, even frightening, leaders. This confidence should be evident in your statements and comportment.


Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Pompeo

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/mike-pompeo-anti-tillerson-180323085332315.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38029336

https://www.biography.com/people/mike-pompeo-121317

http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/03/13/the-clock-is-already-ticking-on-mike-pompeo/

https://www.vox.com/world/2017/11/30/16719690/mike-pompeo-tillerson-fired-haspel-cia-state-department

http://time.com/5197396/who-is-mike-pompeo-cia/

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/cia-dir-pompeo-silence-boston-marathon-bombing-islamic-leaders-us

https://www.timesofisrael.com/with-anti-iran-pro-israel-stances-pompeo-may-become-jerusalems-new-darling/

http://www.businessinsider.com/who-is-mike-pompeo-2017-11#pompeo-was-raised-in-in-orange-county-california-he-attended-los-amigos-high-school-and-played-basketball-for-the-varsity-squad-mike-was-the-type-of-guy-who-was-just-born-smart-childhood-friend-john-reed-told-the-oc-register-1

https://www.politico.com/arena/bio/rep_mike_pompeo_.html

https://www.timesofisrael.com/jerusalem-said-to-welcome-trumps-pro-israel-security-picks/

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/03/israel-palestinians-rex-tillerson-mike-pompeo-mahmoud-abbas.html

https://www.10.tv/news/24623 (translation from Hebrew necessary)

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/03/iran-nuclear-deal-pompeo-appointment-reaction-jcpoa.html

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/netanyahu-congratulates-mike-pompeo-on-secretary-of-state-nomination-1.5931573

https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4922927,00.html

https://www.jta.org/2018/03/13/news-opinion/politics/what-does-mike-pompeo-as-secretary-of-state-mean-for-israel-and-the-jews

https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-new-u-s-secretary-of-state-mike-pompeo-has-a-hawkish-history-on-iran-1.5904882

https://www.timesofisrael.com/state-defense-and-cia-chiefs-all-opposed-jerusalem-declaration-cnn-says/

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/243165

https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21738905-mike-pompeo-where-foreign-policy-realism-meets-america-first-trump-whisperer

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