The Bucknellian

BIPP: Trump brings in new face to head National Security Council

Zachary Krivine, Contributing Writer

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In a tweet on March 22, President Donald Trump announced that John Bolton, the former Ambassador to the UN under George W. Bush, would be replacing H.R. McMaster as his National Security Advisor. Some had predicted this was coming for months, but many were stunned and outraged, with some of the flak coming from the right but the vast majority coming from the left.

It is not all that surprising why this was their reaction. For years, Bolton has made it clear that he is among the hawkish of the hawks. Take the titles of columns penned by Bolton as an example: “The Legal Case for Striking North Korea First,” or, “The only mistake of the Iraq War is we did not get rid of Saddam Hussein sooner,” and, “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.” Many in the media were also enraged that Trump hired yet another figure as what they have termed a “TV personality,” as Bolton is a frequent contributor to Fox News segments (the first being CNBC’s Larry Kudlow).

Those quick to decry Bolton’s appointment are exercising a degree of ignorance such as the criticism that he is simply a TV personality. In addition to his most recent post as UN Ambassador, Bolton has held some political position, at least under Republican administrations, since Ronald Reagan’s second term.

Furthermore, many are exaggerating what a more war-oriented United States would look like without considering the dire times we are in. During the Cold War, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were the two major players on the world stage with nuclear capability. The only thing that prevented one from launching a nuclear weapon against the other was the guarantee that in response, the other would do the same, an interaction known as mutually assured destruction.

Many are in disagreement over whether Iran is abiding by their own nuclear agreement, but it is clear that the strategy on North Korean is not working. Should North Korea attain more nuclear warheads, the next logical step of nations in the region like Japan to prevent their own destruction would be to acquire nuclear weapons themselves. This is unquestionably dangerous for not only the region, but for the world.

Finally, those painting Bolton as a war hawk are doing so with a broad brush. Yes, he is not scared to use America’s military to intervene in conflicts around the world. However, he has stated repeatedly that he thinks long, drawn-out conflicts should be avoided. He is instead in favor of using strong, decisive and overwhelming military force, and then quickly withdrawing. We still have the most powerful military in the world, so this can be done.

Bolton is not without his flaws, and his complete lack of military experience is somewhat worrying. However, we live in an increasingly dangerous world. Showing more of a will to act can only foster fear in our adversaries.

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BIPP: Trump brings in new face to head National Security Council