Published: Sat, March 24, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

John Bolton Reportedly Considering 'Massive Shake-Up' at National Security Council

John Bolton Reportedly Considering 'Massive Shake-Up' at National Security Council

Ever since his time in the Reagan administration in the 1980s, Mr Bolton has courted controversy and divided opinion.

North Korea argues its weapons program is needed for defense, a belief analysts say is reinforced by the fate of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi after giving up his nuclear program. But as President Donald Trump's incoming national security adviser, Bolton's warped worldview could shape USA policy.

Mr Bolton has consistently argued for an uncompromising USA stance backed by overwhelming force in crisis after crisis in the 12 years since he left office as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Experts further reveal President Trump's decision signals the plans to fully embrace the hawkish foreign policy turn that was previewed in his administration's National Security Strategy.

For Europeans, Bolton is a throwback to the era of clashes with Washington at the outset of the war in Iraq in 2003. Despite past statements on North Korea, President Trump has recently taken a much more diplomatic approach with Kim Jong-Un and has said that he even wants to meet him to discuss denuclearization; Bolton on the other hand supports the possibility of a pre-emptive military strike and dismissing direct negotiations that Beijing says are vital to jump-starting the denuclearization process.

This did not dispel fears Mr Bolton would be a major and hawkish influence on Mr Trump's approach to foreign policy, particularly on whether to pull the USA out the Iran nuclear agreement and the administration's approach on North Korea.

"I think unlike many established China specialists [in the United States], John Bolton recognizes very clearly that we are entering a new era where the reconciliatory style of diplomacy with China from Nixon-Carter era is long-dead", said Arthur Waldron, Professor of International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania.

Bolton crossed swords with USA spy agencies again in July 2003, when the CIA and other agencies objected to testimony he planned to give describing Syria's development of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons as a threat to Middle East stability.

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John Bolton Reportedly Considering 'Massive Shake-Up' at National Security Council

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"It is perfectly legitimate for the United States to respond to the current "necessity" posed by North Korea's nuclear weapons by striking first". Japan has also been increasingly concerned about becoming collateral damage, as North Korea past year fired several missiles over Japanese territory and threatened to strike American military bases there.

His hawkish views about Iran were candidly expressed in his 2015 op-ed piece for The New York Times titled: "To stop Iran, bomb Iran".

Regarding Iran, Bolton told Fox News in January that Trump should dump the nuclear deal, re-impose economic sanctions on Tehran and work toward an overthrow of the government there.

Bolton, 69, is known as a dedicated hawk who marries bureaucratic savvy with belligerent rhetoric. He later remarried Gretchen Smith Bolton, and together they have one daughter, Jennifer Sarah Bolton, who studied at Yale, like her father.

Before running for president the NY property developer had no foreign policy experience beyond promoting his worldwide hotels and resorts - and it showed.

"The United Nations is one of the most inefficient inter-governmental organisations going".

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