Pompeo Says He Told Russia They’ll Pay ‘Enormous Price’ for Afghan Bounties

Warned of retaliation despite administration insisting the allegation was a hoax

Continuing the story on allegations Russia had offered “bounties” for killing US troops in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is now claiming he told Russia they’ll “pay an enormous price” for having done so, elaborating on past claims he’d brought up.

Pompeo’s comments are likely aimed at answering questions about what the administration did about these allegations, which were leaked weeks ago. At the same time, it raises questions, since the administration has insisted the whole thing was a hoax, as to why Pompeo was still using it as a reason to threaten Russia.

Russia and the Taliban both denied that the allegations, and other US officials say they don’t have evidence that any money was ever paid over anything that happened in Afghanistan. With the US already having a peace deal in Afghanistan, it may also be beside the point.

Being at least nominally tough on Russia is important for the administration, especially months before an election. This is likely why the matter keeps coming up, and why President Trump insists he’s the toughest person on Russia ever.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.