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Pompeo in Israel to CBN News: U.S. Must Recapture Regional Deterrence

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SOUTHERN ISRAEL – As Iran continues to stir up its proxies in the Middle East, the targeting of U.S. interests is continuing. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, recently on a solidarity trip here, says there's just one answer.

Pompeo believes Americans are being attacked in the Middle East due to a loss of deterrence.

"The enemy is emboldened when you no longer have convinced them that there'll be a true cost to pay," he told CBN News. "And whatever we have done in response so far – whatever one thinks about those responses – it is demonstrably true that they've not been sufficient, that they have not been adequate yet to deter the Iranian regime from continuing to threaten our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. And we've got to get that back."

Pompeo told us he'll leave the "how" up to others, but he knows it can be done.

"But I know how to do it because we did it for four years and we were able to demonstrate to the Iranians that there was a price to pay if you put Americans at risk," the former secretary recalled.


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While in southern Israel, Pompeo held a press conference at the site of the Nova Music Festival, where hundreds of young people were killed and dozens of others kidnapped by Hamas during the October 7th massacre.

Surveying the area, he noted, "There is power behind the forces who came across these fence lines in Gaza – and I think too, today, of the struggle still in the north with Hezbollah. We should be mindful that what happened on October 7th is a symptom of the challenge that the Islamic Republic of Iran brings."

In November, Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi rebels began attacking American and other ships in the international shipping route in the Red Sea – in revenge, they say, for Israel's military operation in Gaza.

The U.S. and the U.K. have struck multiple Houthi targets in Yemen, but the trouble has not stopped.

Now, according to some media reports, the United Arab Emirates and other Arab states want to restrict the U.S. from launching retaliatory strikes.

Pompeo cautions the world can't forget that Iran is behind it all.

"The world needs to remember that whether it’s what’s taking place in the Red Sea today, or what's happening, the fights that are going to occur around Rafah, that in the background is the Iranian leadership," Pompeo stressed. "It is Iranian training. It is Iranian money. And so, the responsibility to get this right will inevitably require lots of sustained effort against that true threat."

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About The Author

Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl is a correspondent for CBN News in the Middle East. A Hebrew speaker, she has been covering news in Israel fulltime for more than 20 years. Julie’s life as a journalist has been intertwined with CBN – first as a graduate student in Journalism; then as a journalist with Middle East Television (METV) when it was owned by CBN from 1989-91; and now with the Middle East Bureau of CBN News in Jerusalem since 2009. As a correspondent for CBN News, Julie has covered Israel’s wars with Gaza, rocket attacks on Israeli communities, stories on the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and