Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton warned that the large number of refugees going to Germany from Syria poses a terrorist threat to the United States.
Bolton cited the Lebanese education minister estimating that about 2 percent of the refugees could be Islamic terrorists.
“If you think of Germany, which said it would accept 800,000 refugees, 2 percent of that is 16,000 terrorists in Germany. Once they get into Western Europe, the path to this country is obviously substantially easier,” Bolton said at a Federalist Society event in Washington.
In Bolton’s view, the entire Middle East is “descending into chaos” past the point of a “series of crises” to boundaries being “erased.”
“It’s fair to say Iraq has ceased to exist as a state. The Kurds are de facto independent. They are not coming back in. I don’t know who’s going to make them come back in. The Arab parts of the country are irretrievably split between Shia and Sunni. The Baghdad government is in effect a puppet for the Ayatollahs in Iran,” he said. “ISIS now controls territory equal to or the size of Great Britain.”
ISIS has a central bank, a currency and a national budget, which “puts them ahead of us,” Bolton quipped.
Looking at all of the turmoil in the region, Bolton said there is not much that can be done to fix these problems under the Obama administration.
“It’s very important as citizens as we all consider the various candidates running for president that we remember the president’s first job is to protect the country,” he said. “If a candidate does not have the capacity to make these very good decisions internationally, in my mind you ought to scratch them off your list of potential candidates because if you can’t get that straight it’s going to be hard to sustain our way of life here at home.”
Citing Pakistan’s recent purchase of Chinese submarines, Bolton said China’s interest in the Middle East is increasing.
“China’s interests: obviously oil and natural gas. China’s a huge energy-consuming country,” he said.
Bolton, who served in former President George W. Bush’s administration, said it’s important for the public to make national security one of the central issues in the 2016 campaign.
“If we don’t then we only have ourselves to blame if we get the continuation of Obama’s policies,” he said.
PJ Media asked Bolton if he thought GOP presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson, who are leading the field in most national polls, would be able to handle foreign policy challenges.
“The main question for a president on foreign policy is judgment and you can get judgment in a lot of different ways. You can get experience that’s relevant to foreign policy in a lot of different ways, which is why I think everybody has to talk more about foreign and defense policy issues,” he said. “It’s not enough to give a good speech. It’s not enough to respond with talking points to a question. You have to see how the people think about it. I haven’t endorsed anybody yet and don’t have any plans to in the near future.”
Turning to cyber warfare, Bolton said the Obama administration had a weak response to the Chinese hackers stealing the personnel records of millions of federal employees. He lamented the decision to host a state dinner for Chinese president Xi Jinping after the incident.
“People say that would be a loss of face for the Chinese to deny them a state dinner. Well, no kidding, that’s the point,” he said.