It has been all over the news since it found that US President Donald Trump retired his national security adviser John Bolton. Such a resignation of one of the major figures in the foreign policy of Donald Trump campaign, a stickler for active foreign policy, has caused many suppositions of what changes in the strategy of the U.S. would follow, including US-Russian relations.
John Bolton’s departure from the White House was sudden, but not completely unpredictable. The cold strained professional relations between the President and his Chief Adviser on Foreign Policy Affairs could see with the naked eye. In accord with the President’s Administration sources, Trump, suddenly, did not see eye to eye with Bolton on international problems and ways to solve them. And Bolton himself did not avoid the presidential version of his departure from the post of President’s Adviser on National Security. Trump insists that it was personally him who fired Bolton. However, Bolton refutes saying that he relied on his own initiative. A few minutes later after Trump’s tweet, he wrote on Twitter that he himself had told the President about his readiness to resign the day before, and the President replied that he was ready to discuss that proposal with Bolton the following morning.
70-year-old John Bolton is one of the most prominent representatives of the American conservative foreign policy establishment. He got the first major position as Deputy Head of the Agency for International Development in 1982 in the Ronald Reagan Administration. From nearly forty years of experience in foreign policy, he has derived deep skepticism regarding international treaties, disbelief in the effectiveness of international organizations, intolerance of dictatorial regimes and the conviction of military force as an essential component of American foreign policy. These principles turned out to be incompatible with the principles of President Trump. “This is a staff person who works directly for the President of the United States, and he should have people that he trusts and values,” Mike Pompeo explained the reasons for John Bolton’s resignation.
According to various sources in the White House, a direct reason for Bolton’s departure from the White House was his opposition to negotiations with the Taliban. Bolton urged President Trump not to agree to a radical Islamic movement that killed thousands of American soldiers in Afghanistan. The President, following another terrorist attack in Kabul by the Taliban, rejected from the attempts to reach a peace agreement with them but Bolton allegedly irritated him once again with the information about this story which was spread in the press.
The grievances of the President have been festering for a long time. For example, Bolton is known to be an opponent of reconciliation with North Korea. He condemned the recent tests of North Korean missiles as a violation of UN resolutions, while Donald Trump considered those launches as Pyongyang’s meaningless gestures. Bolton did not join Trump during the meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas. Donald Trump was annoyed that the massive support of the leader of the Venezuelan leader Juan Guaido by the United States did not lead to the failure of the Nicholas Maduro regime which Bolton promised. He called the President for the attacks on the Iranian radar in response to Iran’s destruction of a multi-million dollar U.S. drone. President Trump canceled his order at the last minute.
People close to the former national security adviser said that Trump’s dissolution of the nuclear agreement with Iran and the restoration of US sanctions against Tehran has been his main achievement for a year and a half at the White House. The New York Times claims that Bolton believed his main goal was to prevent treaties with the “enemies of America.” Critics and opponents of John Bolton, who are a lot of, celebrate the removal from one of the key positions of the implacable hawk in the White House. “Good riddance to John Bolton – an arrogant, reckless national security adviser,” the Chicago Tribune claims. “John Bolton is gone and good riddance. He was pushing Trump away from peace and diplomacy,” USA Today writes.
Trump himself, once jokingly, said that “If it was up to John, we’d be in four wars now.” Bolton’s Public Defenders call him a realist. “It is a huge loss,” said Senator Mitt Romney.
At the same time, American analysts admit that it is impossible to determine the impact which Bolton had on the foreign policy of the Trump Administration and to predict how his departure could affect Washington’s foreign policy. For example, the well-known skepticism of John Bolton regarding international treaties, especially with authoritarian regimes, did not fit well the scenario for the conclusion of a new US-Russian agreement on nuclear arms control in exchange for the START-3 agreement which expires on February 2021. But Matthew Rojansky, the Director Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute, reminded of his first telephone conversation with Putin in 2017, President Trump called START-3 a “bad deal,” and Donald Trump is still known to support or not Bolton’s dislike of negotiations on a reduction weapon. However, John Bolton kept regular working contacts with Nikolai Patrushev, the Secretary of the Russian Security Council.
Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website