John Bolton will be the new National Security Advisor following McMaster’s resignation:
Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the battle-tested Army officer tapped as President Trump’s national security adviser last year to stabilize a turbulent foreign policy operation, will resign and be replaced by John R. Bolton, a hard-line former United States ambassador to the United Nations, White House officials said Thursday.
Bolton was named as a likely replacement for McMaster earlier this year, so we have had good reason to think that this was going to happen sooner or later. That doesn’t make the choice any less appalling, but no one can say that it comes as a surprise. Trump reportedly didn’t like how McMaster talked down to him, and he found the general boring. By contrast, he thinks Bolton is great on television and enjoys listening to him, and that by itself may have been the deciding factor in appointing him. The sheer horror among most foreign policy professionals that will greet Bolton’s appointment is probably another reason why Trump did it.
Now that he will have Pompeo at State and Bolton as his National Security Advisor, Trump will be advised on foreign policy by two very hard-line people that despise diplomatic engagement, support preventive war, and view the world in much the same militaristic, zero-sum way that Trump does. Both have carefully cultivated their relationships with Trump, and both have evidently won his confidence, so we will likely be stuck with both of them for quite some time. There were reports that Secretary Mattis was firmly opposed to Bolton’s appointment. If that really was the case, Mattis has just lost another internal battle and apparently doesn’t have as much influence with the president as many people outside the White House have claimed.
As dangerously wrong as McMaster was on North Korea in particular, Bolton will be even more so on a wide range of issues.
Bolton has a very long record of being wrong on just about every major issue
Everything that was reckless and destructive in Trump’s foreign policy is now much likelier to become even worse.
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