John Bolton: Trump Employs Effective Use of 'Shock Therapy'

Adjust Comment Print

There's been an terrible lot of debate over the particular strain of Republican foreign-policy thinking represented by new National Security Adviser John Bolton. He forged his template for a bellicose, rather than isolationist, brand of "America First" foreign policy at George W. Bush's State Department and as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

But in his first year in office, Trump chafed under the moderating influence of his second national security adviser H.R. McMaster and his now sacked secretary of state Rex Tillerson.

The two men have reportedly been discussing the possibility of Bolton's new role for weeks, and Bolton promised Trump "he wouldn't start any wars" if he was selected, according to CNN. The timeline was expedited as they both felt it was important to have the new team in place, instead of constant speculation. "There will be an official contact handover on 4/19".

"I am particularly anxious that if the Trump-Kim summit fails, Bolton will take that as proof that we must hit North Korea", said Robert Kelly, an American who teaches worldwide relations at Pusan National University in South Korea.

McMaster said after 34 years of service, he is requesting retirement from the US Army effective this summer after which he will leave public service.

Bolton had a central role in ousting José Bustani as president of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. "Throughout my career it has been my greatest privilege to serve alongside extraordinary servicemembers and dedicated civilians", McMaster said in a statement released by the White House. "The good thing about John Bolton, President Trump's new national security adviser, is that he says what he thinks".

Bolton is allied with the wealthy Mercer family, which set up Cambridge Analytica as a US spinoff of the British company SCL in partnership with conservative strategist Stephen K. Bannon, later a top Trump adviser.

Bolton wants to bomb Iran.

As he confronts matters of war and peace with North Korea and Iran, Trump is bringing in an adviser likely to magnify many of his own instinctive qualities: hard-hitting, fiercely nationalistic and eager to confront US adversaries.

Another Bolton super PAC ad said "our world is becoming an increasingly risky place", citing Iraq, Russia and ISIS, before asking "what's next?"

Trump administration to add citizenship question to 2020 census
A group of 19 Democratic attorneys-general told Mr Ross this month that including the question would be unconstitutional. Census data is used to decide things like allocation of federal funds and apportionment of congressional seats.

"John Bolton is the right guy at the right time with a world view that I think will reinforce the president's instincts to go after our enemies and reinforce our allies", Graham said Friday on Fox News. This, too, gave a shape to Trump's impulse that he will very likely find flattering, but also one that might move Trump towards Bolton's position.

Trump and Bolton have discussed staffing changes since at least last July, when Bolton was offered the job as McMaster's deputy, the position now held by Waddell.

[T] he hawkish tradition, from Douglas MacArthur down to Dick Cheney (a realist reborn as a hawk post-9/11) and now Bolton, is distinguished by simplicity: The default response to any challenge should be military escalation, the imposition of America's will by force - and if one risky regime is succeeded by another, you just go in and kill the next round of bad guys, too.

McMaster's departure may have been hastened by leaks emanating from the White House.

The two have never gotten along, and Trump continues to chafe at McMaster's demeanor when he briefs him, feeling that he is gruff and condescending, according to a source who is familiar with his thinking.

The report comes just days after leaked National Security Council memos advising Trump to not congratulate Vladimir Putin on his election win made their way into the press.

"General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems", Trump tweeted February 17, alluding to frequent GOP allegations of impropriety by Democrats and Hillary Clinton.

Last year, he wrote a detailed strategy in the National Review for quitting the Iran nuclear deal (which Trump is considering doing by a May 12 deadline).

Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was sacked for lying about contacts with the Russian embassy and has since pleaded guilty for making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.