US President Donald Trump has announced that John Bolton, the man behind George W Bush’s fight against weapons of mass destruction, will become his third national security chief in 14 months.
The veteran politician will take over from the departing Gen McMaster, who has “done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend,” Trump confirmed via Twitter.
Bolton seemingly fits the bill for Trump. He is all far putting America first at any cost. However, with North Korea and Russia angling for a fight, Bolton’s love of war has rattled investors and international politicians.
To get a better idea of Trump’s new National Security Adviser and the direction Trump’s defence department might take under his guidance, here are a few of his choice statements.
John Bolton on war:
On not wanting to go to war –
I’m not running around the world looking for ways to create hostilities.
From Bush’s Foreign Policy Is in Free Fall, 2007
On wanting to go to war with Iraq –
We should not have invaded Iraq in 2003. Instead, we should have finished the job in 1991 after ridding Kuwait of Iraqi aggressors. We were told then that Arab coalition members, especially Syria’s Assad dictatorship, would object to overthrowing Saddam. Perhaps they were seriously worried they were next. Too bad they weren’t.
On wanting to go to war with Iran –
Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed. The inescapable conclusion is that Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program. Nor will sanctions block its building a broad and deep weapons infrastructure.
From To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran, 2015
On wanting to go to war with North Korea –
Given the gaps in US intelligence about North Korea, we should not wait until the very last minute. It is perfectly legitimate for the United States to respond to the current “necessity” posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons by striking first.
On wanting to go to war with Russia –
We need to create structures of deterrence in cyberspace, as we did with nuclear weapons, to prevent future Russian attacks or attacks by others who threaten our interests. This effort should not be proportional to what we have just experienced. It should be decidedly disproportionate.
The lesson we want Russia (or anyone else) to learn is that the costs to them from future cyberattacks against the United States will be so high that they will simply consign all their cyberwarfare plans to their computer memories to gather electronic dust.
From Obama’s cyber silence leaves US unprepared, 2015
John Bolton on Mexican terrorists:
Photos of immigrants trying to storm the Eurostar train’s “chunnel” entrance in France to cross under the English Channel to Britain compete with videos of the recent terrorist attack on the Thalys high-speed train between Amsterdam and Paris.
How many boat people and others who seem to be economically motivated are actually terrorists, perhaps trained by the Islamic State in Syria or Iraq, seeking to conceal themselves among economic migrants to gain access to Europe?
This is the same issue America faces on the Mexican border.
John Bolton on United Nations:
There is no such thing as the United Nations.
From Global Structures Convocation, 1994
On America First:
On agreeing to international treaties –
The specifics of each case differ, but the common theme is diminished American sovereignty, submitting the United States to authorities that ignore, outvote or frustrate its priorities.
Nothing in the Constitution contemplates such submission to international treaties or bodies.
From Trump, Trade and American Sovereignty, 2017
On foreign aid –
Especially in times of great budgetary stringency, we should redirect our assistance away from multilateral programs, such as the World Bank, the regional development banks and the United Nations, toward bilateral programs, both military and economic.
We should focus particularly on countries that support our efforts against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and international terrorism.
On guns –
Were the Russian national government to grant a broader right to bear arms to its people, it would be creating a partnership with its citizens that would better allow for the protection of mothers, children and families without in any way compromising the integrity of the Russian state.
From Russian gun rights video, 2013
On future presidency:
A lot of people have said to me, ‘That’s a great idea, running for president. You’ll get booked for more speeches. You can write a book’.
From Bolton eyes 2012 presidential run, 2010