One Word Keeps Popping Up in Stories About John Bolton

New national security adviser is 'hawkish,' or perhaps 'ultra-hawkish'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2018 9:34 AM CDT
John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, arrives at Trump Tower for a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, in New York.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – President Trump made a big change in his foreign policy team Thursday by announcing that John Bolton would replace HR McMaster as his national security adviser. One word turning up in virtually every profile of Bolton is "hawkish," or sometimes "ultra-hawkish." Specifically, Bolton has argued for a hard-line approach to North Korea (he wrote that a pre-emptive strike would be justified) and Iran (he wrote that Trump should abandon the nuclear deal struck by President Obama). Here's a look at the fallout:

  • Huge deal: "We can't overstate how dramatic a change it is for Trump," writes Jonathan Swan at Axios. With Bolton on board, the president will likely ditch the Iran deal in May, and the proposed summit with North Korea is now looking "shaky." Bolton isn't just hawkish, he's adept at bureaucracy and "won't take anybody's crap," writes Swan. Expect him to clash with defense chief James Mattis.
  • His views: BuzzFeed collects 11 "remarkable statements" from Bolton that reflect his world view. "There's no such thing as the United Nations," he said in 1994. "If the UN secretary building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference." Bolton served as US ambassador to the UN from 2005 to 2006, and he declared in 2013 that the US was too often "acting like a well-bred doormat" there.
  • His mustache: "Will Bolton shave the stache?" wonders Phil Kerpen of American Commitment. He might be only half-joking. Politico notes that Trump reportedly passed over Bolton for a State Department post last year because the president wasn't a fan of the 69-year-old's bushy mustache.

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