Mcmaster Resigns. John Bolton is the New National Security Adviser

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Mcmaster Resigns. John Bolton is the New National Security Adviser

Post by Highlord Laan » 2018-03-24 12:56am

Il Duce announced Thursday he will be replacing national security adviser H.R. McMaster with former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton.

"I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, @AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor. I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend. There will be an official contact handover on 4/9," Trump tweeted.
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Lets see...I live in what will be Midwest Brotherhood of Steel territory. How about you guys?
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Re: Mcmaster Resigns. John Bolton is the New National Security Adviser

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-03-24 08:54am

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Re: Mcmaster Resigns. John Bolton is the New National Security Adviser

Post by Rogue 9 » 2018-03-24 09:53am

And he reportedly plans to purge the National Security Council. Foreign Policy.
Bolton Expected to ‘Clean House’
The incoming national security advisor aims to ax dozens of White House officials as he dismantles McMaster’s NSC.
By Jana Winter, Elias Groll, Colum Lynch | March 23, 2018, 8:49 PM

Incoming National Security Advisor John Bolton and people close to him are expected to launch a massive shake-up at the National Security Council, aiming to remove dozens of current White House officials, starting with holdovers from President Barack Obama’s administration, according to multiple sources.

Those targeted for removal include officials believed to have been disloyal to President Donald Trump, those who have leaked about the president to the media, his predecessor’s team, and those who came in under Obama.

“Bolton can and will clean house,” one former White House official said.

Another source said, “He is going to remove almost all the political [appointees] McMaster brought in.”

A second former White House official offered a blunt assessment of former Obama officials currently detailed or appointed to the NSC: “Everyone who was there during Obama years should start packing their shit.”

On Thursday evening, just hours after Trump tapped him for the job, Bolton held a call with longtime advisors, including Matthew Freedman, a Republican consultant who once advised Bolton at the State Department and the United Nations. Freedman is currently helping manage the transition, according to a source familiar with the call.

“Freedman is a very political guy that Bolton likes,” one Republican source said. “He is overly ambitious about cleaning house.”

Freedman disputed that account, saying he was not aware of the Thursday phone call. “I can tell you there is no list,” he said.

Another source close to Bolton said it was premature to be talking about personnel changes.

Trump and Bolton see eye to eye on a more hawkish foreign policy, especially when it comes to North Korea and Iran, and are equally averse to multilateral diplomacy, whether that means the U.N. or working with the European Union.

That has veterans of the Trump administration predicting that Bolton will quickly seek to install his own team at the NSC, which functions as a clearing house for policy advice and is supposed to integrate the different perspectives of U.S. government agencies.

Among the officials Bolton’s allies are urging him to fire is Nadia Schadlow, currently the deputy national security advisor for strategy. Schadlow was the primary author of the administration’s recently released National Security Strategy, which was viewed as a surprisingly mainstream document that reaffirmed many traditional U.S. foreign-policy positions. Another official likely to be targeted in a Bolton purge is McMaster’s deputy, Ricky Waddell.

It wouldn’t be the first purge to follow a change in Trump’s national security advisor. When Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster replaced retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn in the job last year, McMaster systematically eliminated officials seen as loyal to his predecessor. According to four sources close to the White House, those so-called “Flynnstones” — advisors loyal to Flynn — are believed to be plotting their return to the NSC.

Whether Bolton will sign off on the staff purge his allies and advisors are pushing is less clear, though he has been insistent about ousting so-called Obama holdovers. “You could easily say that people close to Bolton want these people to go,” one source said. Other sources stress that Bolton, a veteran bureaucratic infighter, makes his own decisions.

A source close to Bolton cautioned that any staffing changes would take time, given the need to process security clearances. That means Bolton will likely be stuck with his current staff for the May summit meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Bolton is a known quantity for Trump, who has for years watched the former George W. Bush administration official on Fox News. He enters the White House with Trump’s ear, the source close to Bolton said, which promises to further raise tensions with chief of staff John Kelly. Whether Kelly and Bolton are able to forge a working relationship will mark an early test for both men’s ability to run a well-functioning staff.

Another question concerns Bolton’s traditionally hard-line stance toward Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin, which is at odds with Trump’s. Two sources familiar with Bolton’s relationship with Trump said one of the big unknowns was how Bolton’s approach to Russia will go over with the president or if he’s even aware of those differences.

Trump and Bolton have discussed staffing changes since at least last July, when Bolton was offered the job as McMaster’s deputy, the position currently held by Waddell. Trump told Bolton that the deputy job would lead to the top post, but Bolton declined, saying he’d rather wait until he was offered the national security advisor job, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

McMaster’s departure may have been hastened by leaks emanating from the White House. Two sources familiar with the matter said McMaster was going to stay on until early summer.

But when the Washington Post reported this week that Trump had congratulated Putin in a phone call on his fraudulent election win — after receiving written briefing materials from the NSC instructing him not to congratulate Putin — the president reacted furiously and blamed McMaster. The story caused Trump to speed up McMaster’s departure, the sources said.
And the New York Times reports that the President expects Mr. Bolton to crack down on leaks as part of this wide-ranging article on the past week's chaos:
The whipsaw on spending came hours after the president forced out his national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, and replaced him with John R. Bolton, a hard-line former American ambassador to the United Nations, catalyzing fears of a sharp turn toward military confrontation on Mr. Trump’s national security team.

Mr. Mattis, viewed as a moderating force on the president, told colleagues before the appointment was announced that he would find it difficult to work with Mr. Bolton, people briefed on the conversation said.
...

As Mr. Bolton prepares to replace General McMaster, people briefed by the White House said, the president has told Mr. Bolton that he needs to cut down on leaks, like the disclosure this week that Mr. Trump disregarded his briefing materials in a call with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

That has prompted a debate over whether Mr. Bolton should carry out a housecleaning of the security council or leave the existing staff in place.
It goes on to talk about Bolton being in the administration raising the risk of war, but everyone already knows that part.
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Re: Mcmaster Resigns. John Bolton is the New National Security Adviser

Post by Megabot » 2018-03-24 10:35am

Trump should insist on Libya-style denuclearization for North Korea: Bolton
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - John Bolton, U.S. President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser, said Trump should insist that any meeting he holds with North Korea’s leader must be focused squarely on how to eliminate that country’s nuclear weapons program as quickly as possible.

Bolton, a hawk who Trump named on Thursday to replace H.R. McMaster in the key security role, told Radio Free Asia on Monday that discussions at the proposed summit with Kim Jong Un should be similar to those that led to components of Libya’s nuclear program being shipped to the United States in 2004.

“Let’s have this conversation by May, or even before that, and let’s see how serious North Korea really is,” Bolton said, according to a transcript of his remarks posted on the RFA website on Friday.

“If they’re not prepared to have that kind of serious discussion, it could actually be a very short meeting.”

Bolton said North Korea had used negotiations in the past to camouflage its weapons development and he was skeptical about its intentions. He said U.S. ally South Korea, which restarted talks with North Korea this year, should be cautious before agreeing to anything with Pyongyang.

“We should insist that if this meeting is going to take place, it will be similar to discussions we had with Libya 13 or 14 years ago: how to pack up their nuclear weapons program and take it to Oak Ridge, Tennessee,” he said.

Bolton said it was important for Trump to “make the point that he’s not there to waste time and that we expect real denuclearization, not talks about talks about denuclearization, but concretely how we’re going to eliminate their program as quickly as possible.”

Bolton also said the United States should not offer North Korea economic aid, or a peace treaty, adding, “they’re lucky to be having a meeting with the President of the United States.”

Bolton, a hardliner who has advocated regime change and military force against North Korea, said no one wanted to see military action, but it would be a mistake to leave the country with nuclear weapons. He warned of the risk of Pyongyang selling nuclear weapons technology to Islamic State, al Qaeda, or any aspiring nuclear-weapons state.

“President Trump has unattractive options ... he doesn’t have much time,” Bolton said. “Somebody said, you know, we can’t kick the can down the road any further because there isn’t any road left.”

South Korean officials met Kim Jong Un this month and told Washington the leader was open to giving up his nuclear weapons if North Korea’s security was guaranteed.

Trump responded with a surprise announcement that he was willing to meet Kim before the end of May in a bid to resolve the crisis over North Korea’s development of nuclear missiles capable of hitting the United States.

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.
As the last sentence says, pretty damn foreboding considering what ultimately happened to Libya after its denuclearization...

For a somewhat more hopeful perspective, John Bolton has made it into the White House. Does this mean war?
John Bolton has made it into the White House. Does this mean war?

David Shariatmadari

Trump has replaced his thoughtful national security adviser with a belligerent TV pundit. This is government by Fox News

Fri 23 Mar 2018 10.49 EDT
First published on Fri 23 Mar 2018 07.08 EDT

It’s happened.

In the febrile days after Donald Trump’s election, one of the more terrifying prospects was the appointment of John Bolton to a senior position in the incoming administration. Bolton is the hawk’s hawk, the neocon’s neocon (though he rejects that label, preferring “Goldwater conservative” after the presidential candidate deemed too extreme by the American people in 1964). His published work includes “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran”, “The Legal Case for Striking North Korea First” and “How to Defund the UN”. As George W Bush’s under secretary of state for arms control he was a rabidly enthusiastic supporter of the invasion of Iraq, and seems never to have fallen out of love with the doctrine of intervention, despite the catastrophe he helped engineer.

As Trump re-ran the Apprentice but for the job of America’s top diplomat, dangling the prize of secretary of state in front of Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, Bolton’s name was increasingly mentioned. But there was a sticking point: facial hair. “Donald was not going to like that moustache,” an associate of the president-elect told the Washington Post. “I can’t think of anyone that’s really close to Donald that has a beard that he likes.”

Bolton had fallen foul of the “right out of central casting” test. He didn’t look the part, unlike the don’t-mess-with-me-faced defence secretary James Mattis, or the bullet-headed national security adviser HR McMaster. That and the fact that the Republican Rand Paul vowed to block his appointment, which would have required Senate confirmation (“He should get nowhere close to the State Department.”) As a result, he remained outside the inner circle, having to content himself with opining on Fox News. Until Thursday.

Bolton is now national security adviser-designate, after McMaster was fired (the position doesn’t require congressional approval). And, once again, Trump’s top team looks like a bunch of rats in a sack, with no internal coherence or logic. The president ran as an anti-interventionist, repeatedly complaining about all the money America spent fighting wars, particularly Iraq. His soft line on Russia couldn’t be further from Bolton’s antagonistic approach.

So what does moustache-man’s promotion signal? Is there now going to be a decisive shift in favour of military intervention in Iran, North Korea and elsewhere, as Bolton would no doubt prefer?

The world is right to be nervous. But there is good reason to think that Bolton’s tenure may not mark an ideological sea-change. There are many causes of the Trump administration’s dysfunction. Prime among them is the idiosyncratic criteria the president applies to senior appointments. Candidates are not selected for their ability to all pull in one direction, with a grand strategy in mind. Nor for their intelligence or experience. Mattis didn’t become defence secretary because of his erudition, but at least in part because Trump heard he was nicknamed “Mad Dog”. McMaster wasn’t chosen because of his book about the importance of military men challenging political leaders, but because Trump goes weak at the knees when he sees a three-star general. Bolton wasn’t picked for his penchant for pre-emption, but because he regularly pops up on Trump’s TV, which is almost always tuned to the same channel.

As he attempts to make his presence felt in the West Wing, Bolton is likely to meet resistance from Mattis and the president’s chief of staff John Kelly, who are said to be “sceptical” of him. And he appears to have struck some kind of bargain to moderate his bellicose instincts. One source told CNN’s White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins that “Bolton promised Trump ‘he wouldn’t start any wars’ if he selected him as the new national security adviser”.

But even if he sticks to that somewhat pat promise, we can still expect him to exert influence over the president’s thinking, particularly on Iran, where the two are more or less of the same mind. Both Rex Tillerson – recently sacked as secretary of state – and McMaster were proponents of maintaining the Obama-era deal designed to put the brakes on Tehran’s nuclear programme. Trump has made no secret of his disdain for it, and now he will be backed up to the hilt by his own national security adviser. So we can expect this enormous diplomatic achievement to be shredded, despite European efforts to the contrary. But “bomb Iran”? So long as there are at least some adults left in the room that’s unlikely. Help us Mad Dog Mattis, you’re our only hope.

David Shariatmadari is a Guardian editor and writer
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Re: Mcmaster Resigns. John Bolton is the New National Security Adviser

Post by FireNexus » 2018-03-25 11:09am

Well... we’re all gonna die.

That said, doesn’t this belong in a Trump Dump?
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Re: Mcmaster Resigns. John Bolton is the New National Security Adviser

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-03-26 08:27am

Honestly, I suspect Bolton will be a lot less likely to propose war with nations that have a nuclear deterrent when he realizes he's literally standing on the bullseye for the one target they are so going to nuke. You never go full chickenhawk.

More generally, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Bolton manages to trip over Trump's ego by urging him to do things contrary to what he wants to do with North Korea. I suspect that is one of the few issues (like the wall) where Trump actually has a reasonably firm-ish opinion that only sort of bends depending on who talked to him last.
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Re: Mcmaster Resigns. John Bolton is the New National Security Adviser

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-03-26 05:34pm

In more reassuring news, Bolton may not make it due to issues with security clearance, brought up by Tim Kaine. The only references I can see thus far are to Kaine's comment and Bolton just responded recently, so there's not much on it out there yet:

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/03/ ... sia-483912
Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine on Sunday questioned whether former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, President Donald Trump’s newly chosen national security adviser, could get a security clearance.

“I wonder about that,” Kaine said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” pointing to Bolton’s 2013 appearance in a video recorded for a Russian gun rights group backed by an oligarch and ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“These kinds of contacts with foreign governments … raise real questions in my mind as to whether he can get a full security clearance or not.”

Kaine described it as “speech” Bolton gave in Russia, but NPR reported it was a video Bolton recorded at the request of NRA President David Keene for the national conference of The Right to Bear Arms, which is backed by Alexander Torshin, a close ally of Putin‘s.

In the video, Bolton encourages Russian activists to push for a right to bear arms in their constitution. Bolton didn’t actually attend the conference.

Bolton was chosen last week to replace H.R. McMaster as national security adviser. The post is not subject to Senate confirmation.

“We’ve already lost one national security adviser, Michael Flynn, because he was lying about foreign contacts,” Kaine said. “I have many, many questions.”
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