John Bolton Is a National Security Threat - Foreign Policy
Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster is out as Trump’s national security advisor, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (and current Fox News contributor) John Bolton is in. This is no mere rotation of on-screen personalities in the latest episode of “The Trump Show.” It is a move with potentially profound implications for the direction of U.S. foreign policy. Indeed, Bolton’s ascendance increases the risk of not one but two wars — with North Korea and Iran.
McMaster was no dove. But Bolton falls into an entirely different category of dangerous uber-hawk. Fifteen years ago, Bolton championed the Iraq War, and, to this day, he continues to believe the most disastrous foreign-policy decision in a generation was a good idea. Bolton’s position on Iraq was no anomaly. Shortly before the 2003 invasion, he reportedly told Israeli officials that once Saddam Hussein was deposed, it would be necessary to deal with Syria, Iran, and North Korea. He has essentially maintained this position ever since. Put plainly: For Bolton, there are few international problems where war is not the answer.
As the nuclear crisis with North Korea enters a critical period, Trump’s choice of Bolton as national security advisor dims the prospect of reaching a peaceful solution. Bolton, like McMaster, sees Kim Jong Un as fundamentally irrational and undeterrable — a view that seems to justify launching a preventive war if North Korea refuses to denuclearize. But McMaster supported diplomacy and, as a military man with extensive combat experience, understood the costs of war. Bolton, on the other hand, has spent his entire career sabotaging diplomacy with Pyongyang and seems downright giddy about a possible military confrontation.