U.S. NSA Bolton, Who Had Opposed India’s Bid in UNSC, Fired
| IOP Desk - 11 Sep 2019

John Bolton, who had opposed India’s bid for permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council is fired by the U.S. President Donald Trump. Bolton had also expressed skepticism with regard to the Indo-U.S. Nuclear Deal, even at a time when India-U.S. relations were at a peak. However, after the Pulwama attack, Bolton had supported India’s right to self-defense. 

By Onkareshwar Pandey

New Delhi, Sep 11, 2019: John Bolton, who had opposed India’s bid for permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council is fired by the U.S. President Donald Trump. Bolton had also expressed skepticism with regard to the Indo-U.S. Nuclear Deal, even at a time when India-U.S. relations were at a peak.

During the George W. Bush-Manmohan Singh era, Bolton, then the U.S. ambassador to the UN, had vociferously opposed India’s candidature for UNSC seat - along with his Chinese counterpart. However, after the Pulwama attack, Bolton had supported India’s right to self-defense. 

Might be, under the instructions of President Trump, the US National Security Adviser Bolton had told his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval to express his condolences for the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir and offered the US’ full support to India in confronting terrorism saying, that America supports India’s right to self-defense.

Previously, Bolton had even warned the U.S. administration that pushing Pakistan to the wall was not in U.S. interests. According to Bolton: “If you push too hard, this government in Pakistan is fragile. It has been since the partition of British India …The military in Pakistan itself is at risk, increasingly, of being infiltrated through the officer ranks by radical Islamists. Many people believe the intelligence services unit already is heavily dominated by Islamists.”

Bolton had also tweeted a warning that “Pakistan is a nuclear power and if it were to tip into terrorist control it would be like #NorthKorea or #Iran on steroids.” In a column for the Wall Street Journal, titled “The Danger of a Jihadist Pakistan,” Bolton articulated similar views.

 “Bolton? Really? Where’s the bunker?” This was the reaction from the former prime minister of Sweden Carl Bildt, who captured the shock and horror across the world at President Trump’s choice as the new National Security Advisor. Bolton was named Trump’s third national security adviser in April 2018 after the departure of army general H.R. McMaster.

“Yes, John Bolton Really Is That Dangerous,” read the headline for a New York Times editorial that said, “There are few people more likely than Mr Bolton is to lead the country into war.”

A day before the marking of 18 years of 9/11, the US President Donald Trump fired National Security Adviser John Bolton, who was seen as the architect of the White House’s hard-line policy towards Iran.

“This week marks 18 years since Sept. 11, 2001. Where were you when you heard of the attack that shook the lives of so many Americans?” Bolton had Tweeted a day before his ouster.

“As we reflect this week on the horrific 9/11 attack, it’s important to remember how far we’ve come in combatting radical Islamist terrorist groups but also how much work is left. We stand strong against regimes that sponsor terror & encourage violence against the US & our allies,” Bolton had Tweeted.

However, citing strong disagreements on a number of policy issues, Trump said he had disagreed with much of Bolton’s advice and had asked for his resignation.

John Bolton, a hawk on North Korea and Iran, was always an unlikely pick to be Trump’s third national security adviser, with a world view seemingly ill-fit to the president’s isolationist “America First” pronouncements.

In a pair of tweets on Tuesday, Trump said,

“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, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle @realDonaldTrump.

President Trump, however, did not elaborate on what strong disagreements he had with Bolton, but reports said the two disagreed over the scope of a peace plan Trump hoped to extract from the Taliban in Afghanistan. Traditional conservatives who identified with Bolton were especially appalled that Trump invited the Taliban to Camp David to finalize the peace agreement so close to the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks carried out in 2001 by the Taliban ally, al-Qaida. Trump canceled the peace deal this weekend.

Bolton was a hardliner. He advocated the use of military power, including pre-emptive strikes against adversaries. He was ferociously opposed to Iran, wants punitive strikes against North Korea, and is leery even about India. In the time he was the US ambassador to UN during the Bush years, he worked actively with his Chinese counterpart to thwart New Delhi’s bid for permanent membership of the UN Security Council, clashing frequently with India’s then UN ambassador Nirupam Sen over a range of issues.

But it is his recent stand on North Korea, Russia, Iran and free trade - and his walrus mustache - that has the Washington commentariat wondering how long he will last in the Trump White House.

Bolton’s ousting came as a surprise to many in the White House. Just an hour before Trump’s tweet, the press office announced that Bolton would join Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a briefing.

Bolton had indicated that he had not been fired but quit, writing on Twitter that “I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.'”

The First question at the White House briefing with Mike Pompeo , United States secretary of state and Steven Mnuchin was, did Bolton resign, or was he fired?

The secretary of state echoed Trump’s claim that he asked Bolton for his resignation last night and received it this morning. Pompeo added, “The president is entitled to the staff he wants.”Pompeo delivered a pretty iconic response when asked whether he was caught off-guard by Bolton’s firing. “I’m never surprised,” the secretary of state said.

Pompeo went on to scold the press, encouraging journalists not to focus on “palace intrigue.”

The White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley emphasized that Bolton’s priorities “did not align with President Trump’s,” arguing that Trump “has the right” to appoint people who agree with him.

Bolton’s exit comes as Trump moves closer to direct talks with Iran after pulling out of the nuclear deal, and likely signals a shift in the administration’s strategy toward a softer line with Tehran.

Trump said he would name a new national security adviser next week.

Gidley confirmed that the White House was “in the process” of searching for a new national security adviser.

Bolton was reportedly displeased that Trump indicated he was ready to meet with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran to renegotiate a nuclear deal.

“Now that we’re two weeks from #UNGA, you can be sure #Iran is working overtime on deception. Let’s review the greatest hits, starting with the most recent. #Iran denied the Adrian Darya-1 was headed to #Syria, then confirmed today its oil was offloaded there,” Bolton had Tweeted an hour before his resignation.

A war hawk who previously served as US ambassador to the UN in the George W. Bush administration, Bolton had led the administration’s “maximum pressure” policy against Iran designed to cripple the country’s economy and possibly bring down the ayatollah regime.

 “Bolton had been widely cheered by Israel’s right-wing government, which had pushed the administration to abandon the nuclear deal and take a more hawkish stance toward Iran.

He has deep ties to the mainstream pro-Israel community dating to his outspoken Israel advocacy during his stint as UN ambassador in the mid-2000s and to his pivotal role as a State Department official in the early 1990s in repealing the body’s infamous “Zionism is racism” resolution,” The Times of Israel wrote.

According to media reports, inside the administration, he advocated caution on the president’s whirlwind rapprochement with North Korea and against Trump’s decision last year to pull US troops out of Syria. He masterminded a quiet campaign inside the administration and with allies abroad to convince Trump to keep US forces in Syria to counter the remnants of the Islamic State and Iranian influence in the region. (With inputs from Agencies)

Photo Caption - Bolton with Moldova PM Maia Sandu / Bolton outside the White House after a discussion with @USAmbDenmark on Sep 05, 2019 on deepening ties with Denmark. Representational Image, Courtesy - John Bolton and Trumps's Twitter Handle

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(Onkareshwar Pandey is Founder, Editor in Chief & CEO, Indian Observer Post and former Senior Group Editor- Rashtriya Sahara (Hindi & Urdu) and also former Editor, (News), ANIhttp://bit.ly/2mh7hih)

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(Onkareshwar Pandey is Founder, Editor in Chief & CEO, Indian Observer Post and former Senior Group Editor- Rashtriya Sahara (Hindi & Urdu) and also former Editor, (News), ANI. http://bit.ly/2mh7hih Email - SMS- 9910150119)


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