Jim Antle, editor of The American Conservative, explains that if President Trump doesn’t rein in John Bolton, his current National Security Advisor, the president’s legacy could be much tarnished. Bolton and other neocons who have somehow made their way into Trump’s administration are charting a foreign policy course that is far removed from the “America First,” platform the president ran on. Antle writes (abridged):
Unsatisfied with the direction of U.S. foreign policy? You’re not alone. The Washington Post describes a “frustrated” Donald Trump who feels he has been “misled” about how easy it would be to oust Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela.
“The president’s dissatisfaction has crystallized around national security adviser John Bolton and what Trump has groused is an interventionist stance at odds with his view that the United States should stay out of foreign quagmires,” the Post reported on May 8.
“We are not going to war in Iran,” said White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a group of Iranian-American community leaders that the administration wasn’t contemplating military intervention, asserting, per Axios, “We’re careful not to use the language of regime change.” Pompeo also sought to distance the White House from Bolton’s and Rudy Giuliani’s dalliances with Iranian resistance groups.
It is understandable that some George W. Bush retreads would make it into the next Republican administration. It is inexplicable that Never Trump neocon Elliot Abrams has been pulled from retirement to oversee Venezuela policy.
Trump has sought to end two wars—Afghanistan and Syria—without starting a major new one, unlike his two immediate predecessors. If he does not soon remind Bolton and company who is in charge instead of acting like an innocent bystander in his own White House, his foreign policy legacy will be very different—and the American people will likely let someone else be commander-in-chief.
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