Tag Archives: john bolton

Bolton Vs. Bandow On North Korea

18 Apr

Beyond Barbed WireI thought this would be a battle of extremists. This polite exchange between former United States amabassador to the United nations, John Bolton, and Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, on Fox reveals how the conservative end of the American political establishment has moved beyond intervention.

Knock me over, but Bolton isn’t spitting blood and backing intervention with every fiber of his soul. Bolton is emphasizing security no matter the cost. Bandow is essentially making checkbook arguments (via The Marmot’s Hole).

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Romney’s Bolton-ish Stench

25 May

Dan Drezner and Heather Hurlburt share a pained laugh over the amateurish state of the Romney campaign’s foreign policy statements.

Campaign statements on foreign policy are broken pretty easily, and campaign rhetoric melts quickly in the face of foreign policy realities.  I suppose one could argue that the Romney campaign’s disorganization on these questions do not speak well about the campaign’s discipline and management.  That said, I seriously doubt that one’s ability to run an efficient campaign translates into the ability to run foreign policy.  Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign  was not exactly the most disciplined of the bunch — but she’s been a very capable Secretary of State.

The one way in which this might be interesting is whether someone like John Bolton winds up as Secretary of State.  Based on his United Nations ambassador days, and based on the near-delusional level of megalomaniacal egotism displayed in Bolton’s memoirs, I’d argue that his appointment would make a difference in foreign policy outcomes.

The loudest signal emerging from the noise of Romney’s foreign policy team is that Bolton’s influence might be larger than I would have suspected.  The fact that Grenell was Bolton’s spokesman at the UN, and that his Russia views sound like Bolton, are distressing signals.  The fact that one of Romney’s concrete budgetary criticisms of the Obama administration this week was that, “[i]n 2010, 17 federal government agencies gave $7.7 billion to more than 25 United Nations programs, billions of it voluntarily,” sounds… Boltonish. The fact that all of Romney’s foreign policy factions are gabbing to the press and, er, people like me further suggests that the divisions run deep. Continue reading

Bolton Is the Best Argument for Rice’s Cabinet Seat

3 Dec

Ironically, former UN ambassador John Bolton’s actual conduct as America’s most reluctant envoy to Turtle Bay provides a precedent for President-Elect Barack H. Obama to make the post a Cabinet-level job – no matter how much the Mustachioed One rants about “two secretaries in the same department.”

Mr Bolton tried to keep an office in Washington while posted to Turtle Bay, to hold onto a seat at the policy-making table. This was both because of his boredom and frustration with the UN, and his barely-concealed contempt for most of his State Department colleagues.

Why shouldn’t the next, Bizarro World envoy to Turtle Bay have a better chance to compete for the President’s attention? Even if I’m not completely sold on R2P, someone with experience of being at State during the Rwanda crisis, and in the future with both Cabinet access and a voice in the UN might have a very powerful influence on Darfur policy, or so says John Boonstra.

Thanks, Mr. Bolton!

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