Why Did Mike Pompeo Lose So Much Weight?

After months of speculation, President Donald Trump finally unveiled his new secretary of state, naming Mike Pompeo as his choice.

The announcement was met with rave reviews, with Trump describing Pompeo as “a very talented man.”

But Trump’s choice for secretary of state didn’t always see things this way. Before joining the Trump administration, Pompeo was the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where he worked for more than a decade.

While at the agency, Pompeo was known for his hardline views on Iran, and was also a vocal opponent of the Obama administration’s “war on terror,” calling the fight against Al-Qaeda an “unwinnable proxy war.”

Since his time at the CIA, Pompeo has kept a low profile, rarely making headlines. He also went through a dramatic weight loss, which some experts believe may have been a result of his opposition to the Obama administration’s policies.

Here, we’ll explore the political motivations behind Pompeo’s stance on national security, and how this relates to his time at the CIA.

Why Is Iran Such A Threat To The United States?

Although the two countries have traditionally had good relations, there’s no denying that they’ve been at odds for some time.

The catalyst for the tension was the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Hoping to improve relations with Iran, former president Barack Obama committed the United States to helping Tehran dismantle an entire portion of its nuclear program in exchange for economic sanctions being lifted.

But it didn’t take long for Trump to realize that the benefits of the deal didn’t outweigh the risks, and on March 5th, just two days after withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, he ordered a strike on an Iranian military base, killing more than 40 people.

Since the nuclear deal, Iran has continued to develop its ballistic missile program, and in 2017, it tested a new medium-range ballistic missile, codenamed “Emir Ali” after the country’s founder.

This prompted the U.S. to impose additional sanctions on Iran, and prompted Pompeo to reiterate the administration’s stance that “they are a danger to the world.”

“They are a danger to the world because they continue to develop their nuclear program,” Pompeo told Reuters in October. “This is a country that cannot be trusted.”

Does Pompeo Plan On Going To War With Iran?

When it comes to foreign policy, there’s no one-stop-shop for accurate information.

This is especially true when it comes to the Middle East, which is full of conflicting narratives and half-truths.

While we don’t have access to classified information, we can still get a sense of Pompeo’s intentions by analyzing his public statements and watching how he acts.

Based on this, it appears that Pompeo does indeed plan on going to war with Iran. In January, he told Politico: “Americans should fear no attack from Iran, because we will confront and defeat them.”

Since the Iranian missile test in early October, Trump has ratcheted up tensions with Iran, telling reporters at the White House that the U.S. is “prepared” for war with Tehran.

This comes as no surprise, as Trump often speaks in the language of war, which has prompted many to ask whether he’ll actually act on this rhetoric.

But while we may not have conclusive evidence that Pompeo intends to wage war with Iran, what we do know is that the administration is taking a fairly aggressive stance toward the Islamic Republic.

What Is The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)?

Since its founding in 1969, the government of Iran has provided a number of services, from food to housing, to citizens. One of these is the provision of military forces, in an effort to safeguard the country’s national security.

This force, known as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), is responsible for protecting the country’s borders and enforcing internal order, especially in regard to combating religious extremism.

The organization is made up of several different divisions, including the Iranian Navy’s elite Quds Force and the Islamic Republic’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard Corps (which is responsible for providing security in rural areas).

To put this into context, the IRGC has roughly 120,000 active soldiers and officers, and it is one of the most powerful entities in the country. It currently has access to the U.S. Financial System, and it funds the country’s nuclear program. In addition, it controls a large portion of the country’s oil fields.

Because of its size and power, the IRGC is often seen as a threat to U.S. national security, and this has prompted many in the Trump administration to take a hardline stance against Teheran. To that end, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo named the IRGC as a foreign organization that is “prohibited from undertaking any activity that would be of benefit to America or its citizens,” which includes “attempting to disrupt the national security of the United States.”

But while the United States may technically be at war with the Islamic Republic, this is clearly not the case in practice. The two countries have not gone to war with each other since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, and the U.S. government has never declared war on Iran.

It is estimated that there are currently only about 4,000–6,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, and a small number of special forces in Syria. The rest of the U.S. involvement in the Middle East is mostly confined to providing economic and military support to allied countries (such as Israel, which has long-standing political and economic ties to the U.S.).

Why Do Some In The Intelligence Community See The Muslim Brotherhood As A Threat To National Security?

While there are certainly many critics of the Muslim Brotherhood, who they accuse of being “radical” and “extremist,” there is no denying that the organization has done much to advance the cause of tolerance and feminism in the Middle East.

The Muslim Brotherhood was originally established in Egypt in the early 20th century, and it subsequently gained political power, culminating in the region’s most prominent Islamist, President Mohammad Morsi, serving as Egypt’s chief executive from June 2012 until his ouster in a military coup in July 2013.

But even before the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, the Muslim Brotherhood had established a significant presence in that country’s political system, emerging as one of the largest and most influential political organizations. In fact, the organization was responsible for drafting Egypt’s new constitution, and its leaders worked to promote gender equality and women’s rights in the aftermath of the revolution.

The Egyptian Revolution of 2011 was followed by similar uprisings in other Arab countries, with similar results. And in Syria, the country’s president Bashar al-Assad has credited the Muslim Brotherhood with organizing and galvanizing the protests that eventually led to his ousting. (Some evidence also suggests that the Syrian government has funded, armed, and trained certain Islamist groups in the country, further indicating the link between the two.)

But while the Muslim Brotherhood has undoubtedly created numerous benefits for the people of the Middle East, many in the U.S. intelligence community see this as a threat to American national security, especially in light of the group’s history in spreading extremism and terrorism.

According to a declassified 2011 report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, along with its sister organization (the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood) “are considered to be among the most dangerous Islamist movements in the world, due to their vision of creating an Islamic state.” (p. viii)

The report goes on to cite several cases wherein “Muslim Brotherhood leaders have advocated violent jihad and overthrowing the secular governments of the Middle East” (p. ix).

What Is Al-Qaeda?

Al-Qaeda is another organization that has gained infamy for carrying out terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies, most notably the September 11, 2001 attacks. (This organization is also known as “the bin Laden organization,” in honor of its founder, who is sometimes referred to as “the prophet of terror.”)