Who is John Bolton and What Does His Nomination Mean for the Future of U.S. Foreign Policy?

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By: Simon Fischer

President Donald Trump recently jettisoned his second National Security Advisor in roughly a year, as he fired H.R. McMaster via Twitter after previously dismissing Michael Flynn. His next appointment for the job is John Bolton, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations under the second Bush Administration and a frequent Fox News Contributor. On paper, it makes some sense for Trump, considering Bolton’s previous experience, conservative media screen time, and hawkish policies. However, a deeper look at those same defining characteristics reveals a heavily flawed, unqualified, and ultimately dangerous person to have so close to the Commander-and-Chief.

Bolton came to prominence in Washington initially as a lawyer who dealt heavily in the spheres of conservative influence and managed to score positions in both the Reagan and H.W. Bush administrations. His big breakthrough came when the younger Bush made him his Under Secretary of State for Arms Control, where his primary focus was on weapons of mass destruction. His hardline ideals immediately came into focus, as he staunchly argued that Iraq possessed WMD’s and was later blamed for pushing politicized intelligence justifying a potential U.S. entrance into Iraq. Even today, he still argues that entering Iraq was the right move, despite the disagreement of a large majority of the country and his professional colleagues. He was later nominated to be the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. but only got the job because he was a recess appointment, as he failed to acquire enough votes from a Republican-controlled Senate to be confirmed.

Discounting his potentially dangerous policies, Bolton has also come under fire for his aggressive management style. Multiple former colleagues and employees have openly spoken about his abusive behavior toward subordinates, including a contractor who detailed being chased through a Russian hotel by him and his “madman”-like behavior, a top State Department analyst who was demeaningly called a “munchkin” after they refused to sign off on Bolton’s bogus claim of Cuba possessing biological weapons, and an assistant secretary of state who testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Bolton was a “bully” who “kisses up and punches down.”

And now, with one Trump tweet-stroke, John Bolton is now our country’s National Security Advisor. His position, which does not need to be confirmed by Congress, puts him in charge of running the National Security Council and gives him direct access to funnel his warmongering straight to the president. Ultimately, Bolton’s nomination could veer U.S. foreign policy well towards the extreme and will only add more chaos to an already-chaotic White House. Considering his past history of advocating for war-friendly policies towards the Middle East, he could push Trump to take drastic action in Syria. He has also already stated, via his numerous Fox News appearances, his disdain for potential diplomacy with North Korea, and could influence Trump to change course from his stated goal of peacefully resolving our North Korean conflict. Trump’s nomination of Bolton represents his willingness to indulge in his nationalistic foreign policy fever dreams and how influential Fox News personalities have become in the White House, and it could lead to a swift and radical change in the direction of American foreign policy over the next few years.

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