The fall of the old hawk
“Without waiting for him to be trampled down in Congress, Bolton sent a letter of resignation to President Bush and announced that he would cease his work as the US representative to the UN. Bush accepted Bolton’s resignation “with deep regret” and said at a press conference: “I received a letter of resignation of John Bolton. I agree with that. I'm not happy about that. ” But if Bush Jr. really regretted the departure of the superhawk, then Trump, firing Bolton, clearly sighed with relief. ”
John Bolton, a hawk of hawks, a neoconservative whom even the neocons feared, leaves the White House.
Donald Trump, as usual, announced the dismissal of his national security adviser on Twitter.
“Last night,” he wrote on Tuesday, “I informed John Bolton that his services were no longer needed by the White House. I strongly disagree with many of his proposals, like the others (people. - K. B. ) in the administration, and therefore I asked John to write a letter of resignation, which was submitted to me this morning. Next week I will name a new national security adviser. ”
Bolton’s other version on Twitter: “I suggested resigning last night, and President Trump said,“ Let's talk about it tomorrow. ”
This is not the first time Bolton has been fired.
In 2005, President Bush, Jr., who was enthusiastic about Bolton, proposed his candidacy for the post of US Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Senators, who knew well what Bolton was, they did not approve his candidacy, and Bush was forced to trick him into appointing him during the parliamentary holidays. Bolton sat for a whole year at the UN as if on a needle, until in November 2006 the Democrats won a majority in the House of Representatives and first of all demanded the head of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and UN Permanent Representative to Bolton.
Without waiting for him to be trampled on in Congress, Bolton sent a letter of resignation to President Bush and announced that he would cease his work as the US representative to the UN. Bush accepted Bolton’s resignation “with deep regret” and said at a press conference: “I received a letter of resignation of John Bolton. I agree with that. I'm not happy about that. ”
But if Bush Jr. really regretted the departure of the superhawk, then Trump, firing Bolton, clearly sighed with relief.
The post of national security adviser under Trump is generally some kind of damn. The first National Security Council adviser, Michael Flynn, held this post for less than a month - from January 20 to February 13, 2017, after which he was forced to resign due to "unauthorized" contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
General Herbert McMaster, who succeeded him, held out a little more than a year.
"McMaster was not elected because of his book about how important it is for the military to defend their point of view in the face of political leaders, but because Trump feels weak in his knees when he sees a three-star general," British The wrote not without irony. Guardian. But that was not so. Very soon, Trump began to ridicule the “three-star general” at the meetings, argue with him on every issue, and three months after Macmaster’s appointment, he privately expressed regret for his decision: he clearly felt that he had chosen the wrong person. On May 1, 2017, he called for John Bolton, with whom he discussed "a wide range of issues relating to the National Security Council."
White House sources told Bloomberg journalist Eli Lake that Trump and Bolton were discussing the possibility of appointing the latter as McMaster's deputy, but agreed that this was not a good idea.
In the end, after a series of conflicts with the president, McMaster lost his chair. This happened the day after Donald Trump finally called Vladimir Putin and congratulated him on his election to the post of president of Russia.
On the eve of the White House officially announced that the president was not going to call to Moscow: it soon became clear that the briefing materials handed to Trump in large block letters read: “DO NOT CONGRATULATE!” McMaster wrote this, of course. Trump's reaction was quick and harsh: the general had long been in the wrong position to tell the president what to do.
And then it was time for Bolton.
Many were perplexed why Trump had taken this superhawk to his team. Trump does not at all look like the cocky Bush Jr., who was impressed by Bolton's militancy.
Once the owner of the White House said that John "will fight with the whole world if he is given free rein." And later he added: "John Bolton does not know wars that he would not like."
Trump himself is not at all like that.
His element is not war, but trade. His god is not Ares, but Hermes. All the wars that he unleashes are the wars of big business. Trade war with China. Forcing Iran to surrender by imposing sanctions. Exit from NAFTA to get better trading conditions with Mexico and Canada. Constant threats to European allies to withdraw from NATO to make them pay more for defense.
Bolton was one of those cowboys who prefer to shoot first and then ask.
After Iran shot down a U.S. Navy drone, Bolton insisted on an immediate retaliatory strike - and put on the president’s table a plan for a military operation involving targeted attacks on three targets in Iran. American aircraft at bases in the Persian Gulf were already warming up the engines when Trump ten minutes before the start of the operation gave the order to postpone it, considering it was disproportionate to Tehran’s actions.
So did not start a new big war in the Middle East, which was almost unleashed by the superhawk Bolton.
For almost a year and a half, Trump believed that the presence of such a "scumbag" as Bolton in his team strengthens his position in negotiations with dictatorial and authoritarian regimes.
“Trump believes that Bolton is a key element of his negotiation strategy,” Axios quoted a White House source as saying. - He thinks that Bolton’s militancy, his desire to kill people is a trump card in the game with foreign leaders. Bolton can be a bad cop, and Trump can be a good cop. ”
Therefore, despite the fact that many high-ranking officials of his administration close to Trump privately recommended him firing Bolton, he always refused, emphasizing that Bolton’s presence in his team improves his position in negotiations and gives him a psychological advantage over opponents such as Iran and North Korea.
But after Bolton thwarted Trump’s talks with Taliban leaders * planned at Camp David on the anniversary of the September 11 tragedy, Trump changed his mind about the superhawk.
Trump had high hopes for these impromptu talks - if successful, he could end the war in Afghanistan, which has been going on for almost 20 years, and withdraw American troops from there, which would have brought him a lot of points before the election.
And all this collapsed due to the indomitable "hawk" of Bolton.
From the useful "bad cop" John Bolton became an annoying hindrance.
In addition, he managed to enter into a protracted conflict with Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who is much closer in spirit to the president. At some point, Bolton and Pompeo even stopped talking to each other.
Strongly did not like Bolton and US Vice President Mike Pence. Analysts say Bolton’s dismissal may become Trump’s symbolic reverence towards his vice and generally the “Irish party” in the US elite, whose support will be much more important for the White House owner in the 2020 elections than the sympathies of the neocons that have weakened recently.
The very first result of Bolton’s resignation was a drop in oil prices - in the first minutes after Trump’s tweet, the barrel fell 2.2%. Markets are very sensitive to the threats of new conflicts - which means that the departure of the superhawk from the White House has made the situation in the Middle East a little more secure.
And not only in the Middle East.
The news of Bolton's departure was received with relief in both Venezuela and North Korea. The failure of Washington's policy in the Bolivarian Republic was at least one of the reasons for Bolton's dismissal.
Although Trump, according to a White House source, agreed with Bolton that a regime change in Caracas was necessary, he was clearly annoyed by his aggressive stance. Trump told his confidants that Bolton had gone too far and that the National Security Council adviser himself and some of his staff were overly confident that the Venezuelan opposition could remove the dictator Maduro. Another source, a former senior administration official quoted by Axios, recalls when Trump told him: “I saw such people, they underestimate Maduro. He will not just give up and leave. "
Time has shown that Trump was right, and Bolton was wrong. The Venezuelan opposition has demonstrated its powerlessness, and Maduro, supported by the majority of Venezuelans, as well as Russia and China, remained in power.
It is unclear who will replace John Bolton - various candidates are being considered. The names of retired colonel Douglas McGregor, Stephen Beagan and retired general Jack Keane are called.
McGregor is known as a supporter of the Korean Peninsula conflict by transferring full control of the South Korean forces to Seoul. “We do not need a war on the peninsula. Under no circumstances! And no one in Northeast Asia needs it, ”McGregor said in an interview with Fox News last July.
Stephen Bigan, a former Ford vice president, was seen as one of Herbert MacMaster's successor candidates. He once worked on the National Security Council under the leadership of Condoleezza Rice, who actively supports him. It is considered a “specialist in Russia”, although, given the general low level of American expertise in relation to our country, this may mean that he is able to find Moscow and St. Petersburg on the map.
Finally, retired general Jack Keane is known as the "pragmatic hawk." Trump is well known as a military analyst, constantly commenting on the news on Fox President’s favorite channel. In 2016, he seriously criticized Trump for his intention to cooperate with Russia in the fight against the “Islamic State” **.
Other candidates are also called. But, no matter who succeeds John Bolton, one thing is clear: the times of super-hawks, ready to solve everything in the world with carpet bombing disagreeing with Washington’s course, are over.
* "Taliban" - the organization was recognized as terrorist by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of February 14, 2003.
** “Islamic State” (IG) - the organization was recognized as terrorist by decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of December 29, 2014.
The author’s point of view may not coincide with the position of the publisher.