Trump fires hardline adviser Bolton over foreign policy disagreements

Khafee

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Trump fires hardline adviser Bolton over foreign policy disagreements
Steve Holland, Matt Spetalnick
September 10, 2019

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. national security adviser John Bolton gestures as he meets with journalists during a visit to London, Britain August 12, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly fired his national security adviser John Bolton amid disagreements with his hardline aide over how to handle foreign policy challenges such as North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan and Russia.

“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday, adding that he would name a replacement next week.

Bolton, a leading foreign policy hawk and Trump’s third national security adviser, was widely known to have pressed the president for a harder line on issues such as North Korea. Bolton, also a chief architect of Trump’s strident stance against Iran, had also advocated a tougher approach on Russia and Afghanistan.

Bolton, who took up the post in April 2018, replacing H.R. McMaster, had sometimes been at odds with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, one of Trump’s main loyalists.
Offering a different version of events than Trump, Bolton tweeted: “I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, “Let’s talk about it tomorrow.”

Trump had sometimes joked about Bolton’s image as a warmonger, reportedly saying in one Oval Office meeting that “John has never seen a war he doesn’t like.”

Trump’s North Korea envoy, Stephen Biegun, is among the names floated as possible successors.

“Biegun much more like Pompeo understands that the president is the president, that he makes the decisions,” said a source close to the White House.

Also considered in the running is Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, who had been expected to be named U.S. ambassador to Russia.

White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said “many, many issues” led to Trump’s decision to ask for Bolton’s resignation. She would not elaborate.

“HE’LL BOMB YOU”
Trump would sometimes chide Bolton about his hawkish ways in meetings, introducing him to visiting foreign leaders by saying, “You all know the great John Bolton. He’ll bomb you. He’ll take out your whole country.”

Officials and a source close to Trump said the president had grown weary of his hawkish tendencies and the bureaucratic infighting that he got involved with.

Bolton traveled widely in the role and on his travels, for example, he warned Russia against interfering in U.S. elections and promoting strong ties with Israel.

Bolton had opposed a State Department plan to sign an Afghan peace deal with the Taliban militia, believing the group’s leaders could not be trusted.

Sources familiar with his view said Bolton believed the United States could draw down to 8,600 troops in Afghanistan and maintain a counter-terrorism effort without signing a peace deal with the Taliban.

U.S. officials have said it was Bolton who was responsible for the collapse of a summit in February between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi by recommending the presentation a list of hardline demands that Kim rejected.

North Korea media in May referred to Bolton as a “war maniac” who “fabricated various provocative policies such as designation of our country as ‘axis of evil’, preemptive strike and regime change.”

Bolton’s departure comes a day after North Korea signaled a new willingness to resume stalled denuclearization talks with the United States, but then conducted the latest in a recent spate of missile launches.

A source familiar with Trump’s viewed said Bolton had ruffled a lot of feathers with other key players in the White House, particularly White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney because “he doesn’t play by the rules.”

“He’s a kind of a rogue operator but that’s kind of how he is,” the source said.

Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton, Arshad Mohammed, David Brunstromm, Jonathan Landay; Writing by Matt Spetalnick,; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Alistair Bell

 

Zeeman

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My God great news.... this guy was so anti Pakistani he made Modi look like his student.

Bolton is known to oppose any concession no matter how limited to Pakistan. He was the biggest obstacle in Trump’s policy to make peace with Talibans.
 

Zeeman

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Old but cringe worthy :

Pakistan could be Iran on steroids . Bolton.

 

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Bolton's departure shows failure of U.S. 'maximum pressure' against Iran: Rouhani adviser
September 10, 2019

DUBAI (Reuters) - An adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that U.S. President Donald Trump’s firing of his national security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday pointed to the failure of Washington’s “maximum pressure strategy” against Iran.

“The marginalization and subsequent elimination of Bolton is not an accident but a decisive sign of the failure of the U.S. maximum pressure strategy in the face of the constructive resistance of Iran,” Hesameddin Ashena tweeted.

Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, said last week more sanctions against Iran were coming and the United States was committed to its campaign of “maximum pressure”.

“John Bolton had promised months ago that Iran would last for another three months. We are still standing and he is gone,” Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Twitter.

“With the expulsion of the biggest proponent of war and economic terrorism, the White House will face fewer obstacles in understanding Iran’s realities,” Rabiei added.

The United States on Tuesday announced sanctions on a “wide range of terrorists and their supporters,” including the Palestinian group Hamas and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, on the eve of the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and Grant McCool

 

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Bolton was odd choice for Trump's foreign policy team
September 10, 2019
Steve Holland


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - John Bolton was always an odd fit to be U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser: a conservative hawk who advocated for regime change in North Korea and Iran, supported the Iraq war and favored a tough stance toward Russia.

The mustachioed hard-liner’s efforts to add bite to the bark of U.S. foreign policy met stiff resistance from a White House leery of foreign entanglements and came to an abrupt halt on Tuesday when Trump announced he had fired him.

Trump said he and others in the administration had disagreed strongly with many of Bolton’s suggestions.

But Bolton, 70, can lay claim to one clear victory during his tenure.

Hanging on a wall in his West Wing office was a memento of that achievement: a framed copy of Trump’s order last year to pull the United States out of the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran.

Right next to it hung a cartoon mocking the agreement, which was designed to make it more difficult for Iran to develop a nuclear bomb in exchange for international sanctions relief. The Trump administration said the accord secured by President Barack Obama and other world powers did not go far enough in curtailing Iran’s activities.

Bolton’s choice of decor reflected his disdain for the deal and his relentless focus on trying to isolate Tehran and cripple its economy by reimposing tight sanctions.

Bolton became national security adviser on April 9, 2018 and the next month Trump abandoned the Iran deal, meeting a promise he had made as a presidential candidate, which other wary West Wing advisers had persuaded him to put off.

Bolton changed that dynamic quickly. In an interview with Reuters last year, he said he reassured Trump that his instincts were right and that he could ignore the pleas and warnings of moderates and European allies to stay in the deal.


“It’s not the end of the world,” Bolton said he told Trump in arguing for withdrawal from the pact. “The Western alliance is not going to fall apart.”

SUPER-HAWK


In Washington’s community of foreign policy veterans, Bolton has been a super-hawk for decades, whether as a tough-talking U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush or as a prominent analyst on Fox News.

Critics call him an ideologue and a warmonger who retaliates against dissenting views, while allies say he is an intellectual and a shrewd operator committed to ensuring the supremacy of U.S. power.

Over the years, Bolton has advocated for regime change in a number of countries, including Iran and North Korea, opposed direct negotiations with both and said the United States should stage pre-emptive attacks against their nuclear facilities.

He played a central role in the hardening of U.S. policy toward Venezuela’s socialist government over the past year, pushing other countries to help speed up a transition of power in the South American nation.

Bolton did appear to soften some of his bellicose positions, at least in public, after becoming national security adviser, saying he was happy to follow the president’s lead.

That kept him temporarily in good graces with Trump, who has made improved ties with both North Korea and Russia a centerpiece of his foreign policy, and who does not like being overshadowed by his staff.

Bolton was widely believed to have favored a planned U.S. air strike on Iran earlier this year in retaliation for the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, an action Trump called off at the last minute.

And Bolton had argued against the president’s suggestions of a possible meeting with the Iranian leadership and advocated a tougher approach on Russia and, more recently, Afghanistan.

While Trump has spoken admiringly of Vladimir Putin, Bolton never did that, and accused the Russian president of lying about Moscow’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign.

Bolton opposed easing of a wide range of sanctions on Russia and was instrumental in Trump’s decision to withdraw last month from a 1987 accord that banned intermediate-range missiles because of what Washington charged was Moscow’s deployment of prohibited nuclear-capable cruise missiles, an allegation Russia denied.

Reporting by Steve Holland, Jeff Mason, Jonathan Landay, Roberta Rampton and Arshad Mohammed; Writing by Paul Simao; editing by Grant McCool

 

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Factbox: Reactions to Trump firing of John Bolton, foreign policy hawk
September 10, 2019

(Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump has fired national security adviser John Bolton amid disagreements with the hard-line aide over how to handle foreign policy challenges such as North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan and Russia.

A leading foreign policy hawk and chief architect of Trump’s strident stance against Iran, Bolton was widely known to have pressed the Republican president for a harder line. He was Trump’s third national security adviser.

U.S. lawmakers and officials, policy analysts and foreign allies reacted immediately to the unexpected news:

Senator Marco Rubio, a top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters:

“I’m a big fan of John Bolton. I’ve worked very well with him, and in my view he did a good job. But ultimately that’s the president’s decision to make. He has the right to have people around him that he wants.”

Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters:

“It’s emblematic of President Trump’s style. He wants people who basically are yes-men. I may not have agreed with Ambassador Bolton on a whole host of issues and his bellicose views, but the one thing about him is he obviously presented counterviews at times for his (Trump’s) consideration. That’s not something the president wants.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters at the White House:

“.... I don’t think that any leader around the world should make any assumption that because some one of us departs that President Trump’s foreign policy will change in a material way. ... There were many times Ambassador Bolton and I disagreed, that’s to be sure, but that’s true for lots of people with whom I interact.”

Norbert Roettgen, chairman of the foreign policy commission of the German parliament and senior lawmaker from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, told Reuters:

“It is an opportunity, not leastly for the trans-Atlantic relationship.”

Richard Gowan, International Crisis Group U.N. director, said in a statement:

“Bolton brought his trademark dislike of the U.N. and other international institutions like the ICC (International Criminal Court) to the White House. On his watch, the U.S. has ensured that the U.N. has been marginalized on crises from Libya to Venezuela. The Trump administration was highly skeptical of multilateralism before Bolton’s arrival, and is unlikely to embrace it warmly now he has gone. But the U.S. may devote a little less time and energy to weakening U.N. institutions.”

North Korea expert Harry Kazianis, a senior director at the Center for the National Interest think tank, said in an email:

“For anyone like myself who wants the United States to return to a more restrained and realist foreign policy, the firing of John Bolton was long overdue and a smart move for Team Trump. ... Trump is now free to find a national security adviser who is against wars of regime change, a smaller footprint in the Middle East, some sort of diplomatic track with North Korea and a much bigger focus on the rise of China.”

Senator Ben Cardin, a Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, told Reuters:

“You know, I would normally say ‘shocked’ but nothing in this administration shocks you today. Mr. Bolton and I didn’t agree on a lot of issues. But he was a straight shooter. He knows the circumstances. I’m sure he told the president what was going on. The president may not have liked to hear it. And it’s unfortunate if the president won’t accept professional advice.”

Senator Bernie Sanders, who is vying for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, wrote on Twitter:

“A symptom of the problem is gone. The root cause of authoritarianism remains.”

Senator Chris Murphy, a Democratic member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement:

“This revolving door of American leadership is devastating to our nation’s security as our allies now turn to more stable nations – like China and Russia – as our foreign policy infrastructure falls apart. John Bolton was the wrong choice and the silver lining to this instability is that there will be fewer people whispering war chants in the president’s ear. But no one of any quality is going to take a job in the nation’s national security cabinet so long as everyone’s head is permanently hovering slightly above the chopping block.”

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said in a statement:

“President Trump, like every other president, has the right to a National Security Advisor of his own choosing. I hope the president will choose someone with a strong background in national security and a world view that there is no substitute for American power when it comes to world order and that strength is better than weakness.”

Asked earlier in the day who would now speak to U.S. allies from the White House, Graham said:

“Probably Trump.”

Created by Sonya Hepinstall

 
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Yesterday, something truly magical happened in American politics. The forces of the big government, pro-war/pro-debt movement aligned to heap praise on John Bolton. Bolton of course had been Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor and by all accounts, the two men had little in common. Donald Trump ran on what passes for an anti-war platform during the 2016 election whilst John Bolton has long been emblematic of a trend in big government US politics that is perfectly happy to bankrupt the country through multiple wars – often fought at the same time.
As early as February of this year, it was becoming clear that Trump and Bolton’s fundamental differences were also spilling over into personal relations. When it was reported that Trump referred to John Bolton as “Mike” (perhaps confusing him with crooner Michael Bolton), it was clear that things were bad, not least because for Trump – the personal is the political and the political is likewise the personal.
In terms of Bolton’s actual accomplishments, they have been few and far between – even by the standards he self-evidently set for himself. His attempt to frighten US ally Turkey into surrendering its security interests in north-eastern Syria failed very early in 2019. Then, his attempt to rapidly oust Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro was quickly exposed as an ill-thought out plan that would have clearly shamed the likes of Henry Kissinger who was able to overthrow leftest Latin American governments with the proverbial wave of his finger.
It looks less and less like the war against Iran that Bolton has agitated for since the early 2000s is ever going to happen and reports indicate that Bolton and Trump had a furious row over Trump’s plan to cut back on the number of American troops in Afghanistan. Finally, Trump’s personal friendship with Kim Jong-un has effectively ruined Bolton’s dream of humiliating the DPRK on the world’s stage.
But for Bolton, his personal failures seemed inconsequential. Bolton was the proverbial paper pushing soldier who never ran out of wars to try and fight, even though when he had the opportunity to be an actual soldier, he famously avoided fighting in Vietnam and even bragged about his draft dodging to the press at a later occasion.
Bolton remains emblematic of many dire trends in US politics and geopolitics. He is a grim and violent man whose personal demeanour is infamously nasty. He represents a strata in US politics that is hungry for blood whilst displaying absolutely no concern for either morality nor fiscal responsibility.
But most of all, Bolton is a symptom of an economic system anchored by a Federal Reserve that is happy to literally print the cash to finance any and every kind of misguided, murderous, illegal and expensive war that the likes of Bolton could dream up.
It is well known that sound monetary policies demand reasonable fiscal expenditure – the kind of which can not finance modern cycles of endless and expensive warfare. The First World War broke not only the economies of the losers but also those of the winners. In order to finance its victory, Britain had to decouple the pound from its gold standard. During the war in Vietnam, America ended up printing more dollars that it could redeem for gold and consequently, in the midst of the war, the US too broke the dollar’s final link with gold.
Since 1971, the world’s reserve currency has been totally detached from sound money principles. A fiat dollar that would be laughed at if printed by any other spendthrift nation remains the international reserve currency due to America’s overall might. When however the inevitable happens and the US dollar becomes jettisoned from its world reserve currency status just as the pound, frank and gilder were in prior centuries, the US will be faced with a mountain of debt that will require full scale liquidation.
A physician’s Hippocratic Oath is an admonition to “do no harm”. Governments throughout the world should take a similar oath. If they did, creatures like John Bolton could not exist. This is the case because Bolton’s policy of aggressive war is completely amoral and could only be sustained by levels of debt that are guaranteed to impoverish future generations whilst causing poverty inducing inflation in the present.
It therefore is no surprise that the queen of big government, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has publicly expressed her dismay regarding Bolton’s ‘forced resignation’ form the Trump White House.
John Bolton's sudden departure is a symbol of the disarray that has unnerved our allies since day one of the Trump Administration. Steady leadership & strategic foreign policy is key to ensuring America’s national security. Trump fires John Bolton
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) September 10, 2019
Pelosi’s Democratic party has become one that loudly advocates for the largest ever government in the history of the world. The gang of four (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley) who are now the face of Pelosi’s party advocate for even more of the ‘print and spent’ debt accruing policies that have got the US into the perilous state she is in today. Whilst the gang of four and Bolton have different personal backgrounds, they are all parasitic creatures that thrive through a despicable process of spending the money of others in pursuit of their mad utopian visions for the world.
The penultimate conclusion of all forms of big government built upon a house of cards is one of economic collapse and the eventual liquidation of the mega-debt. Even a country as powerful as the US cannot sustain unsound monetary policies and fiscal irresponsibility forever.
John Bolton can therefore be described as a man of bankruptcy. He was a morally bankrupt, fiscally bankrupt and could only have ever risen to power in a country whose money is literally printed out of thin air for the benefit of the many tentacles of big government.


 

Khafee

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Trump says Bolton a 'disaster' on North Korea, 'out of line' on Venezuela
September 11, 2019
Jeff Mason, David Brunnstrom

View attachment 9915
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that John Bolton, dismissed a day earlier as national security adviser, had been a “disaster” on North Korea policy, “out of line” on Venezuela, and did not get along with important administration officials.

Trump said Bolton had made mistakes, including offending North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un by demanding that he follow a “Libyan model” and hand over all his nuclear weapons.

“We were set back very badly when John Bolton talked about the Libyan model ... what a disaster,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

“He’s using that to make a deal with North Korea? And I don’t blame Kim Jong Un for what he said after that, and he wanted nothing to do with John Bolton. And that’s not a question of being tough. That’s a question of being not smart to say something like that.”

Trump also said he disagreed with Bolton on Venezuela but offered no specifics. “I thought he was way out of line and I think I’ve proven to be right,” the president said.

Trump said Bolton, with his abrasive, hardline approach, “wasn’t getting along with people in the administration that I consider very important.”

“John wasn’t in line with what we were doing,” he added.

Trump said he got along with Bolton and hoped they parted on good terms, but added: “Maybe we have and maybe we haven’t. I have to run the country the way we’re running the country.”

Trump had been growing more impatient with the failure to oust socialist Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro through a U.S.-led campaign of sanctions and diplomacy in which Bolton was a driving force.

Bolton was also a chief architect of the Trump administration’s hardline policy on Iran.

Asked whether he would consider easing sanctions on Iran to secure a meeting with its leader President Hassan Rouhani at this month’s U.N. General Assembly, Trump replied: “We’ll see what happens.” Bolton had opposed such a step.

North Korea has denounced Bolton as a “war maniac” and “human scum.” Last year, it threatened to call off a first summit between Kim and Trump after Bolton suggested the Libya model of unilateral disarmament. In the past Bolton had proposed using military force to overthrow the country’s ruling dynasty.

Trump’s efforts to engage with North Korea nearly fell apart altogether in February after he followed Bolton’s advice at a second summit in Hanoi and handed Kim a piece of paper that called for the transfer of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and bomb fuel to the United States.

Trump announced he had fired Bolton a day after North Korea signaled a new willingness to resume stalled denuclearization talks, but it then proceeded with the latest in a spate of missile test launches.

Analysts say Bolton’s removal could help U.S. efforts to revive the talks but will not make it easier for Washington to persuade Pyongyang to give up nuclear weapons.

Washington has given no indication so far that it will soften its demand for North Korea’s ultimate denuclearization, even though with Bolton gone, the risky all-or-nothing gambit is unlikely to be repeated so bluntly.

“This change in personnel could carve out some space for new approaches or thinking about what defines success and how to achieve it,” said Jenny Town at 38 North, a Washington-based North Korea project. “Whether it actually does or whether Bolton’s view was more deeply entrenched in U.S. thinking on this matter is yet to be seen.”

Reporting by Jeff Mason, David Brunnstrom and Matt Spetalnick; Writing by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and David Gregorio

 

Gripen9

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With failure of the Taliban talks, Trump is again looking at getting any kind of deal/agreement signed with N.Korea. This maybe a step towards getting Kim Un Jong back at the table....
 

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