John Bolton: 'A Reagan Realist' and a Brilliant Choice
John Bolton is a superb choice for national security advisor, though you wouldn't know that from the lamentations and doomsday prophecies issuing from the media since President Trump tweeted the news that on April 9 Ambassador Bolton will take over this pivotal White House post from Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster. As the New York-Washington headline consensus would have it, Bolton is a rogue war-monger, an ultra-hardline uber-hawk, a one-man MIRVed missile raring to blow up the planet. He inspires terror at the New York Times, where the editorial board assures us, "Yes, John Bolton Really Is That Dangerous."
This is the stuff of caricature, a reflection not on Bolton, but on the uber-bias of his critics. Actually, as David French writes at National Review, "John Bolton Isn't Dangerous. The World Is." Though if Bolton inspires even half as much alarm in Moscow, Beijing, Tehran and Pyongyang as he does among much of the U.S. commentariat, that alone could save the U.S. military a lot of time, resources and risk in reestablishing the credibility of American deterrence -- so thoroughly squandered over most of the past decade by President Obama, with his vanishing red lines. That great squandering left a weakened America facing a far more dangerous world of emboldened and increasingly dangerous actors, across a spectrum that includes everything from terrorist attacks to nuclear threats, conventional to cyber warfare. Reversing, or even simply stopping this trajectory is vital to the security of America and the rest of the Free World. It is a daunting and complex challenge, especially in the face of an American media and foreign policy establishment that prefers to applaud Neville Chamberlain-style pieces of paper over the clear-eyed warnings of the spiritual heirs of Winston Churchill.
Bolton does not fit the standard Washington mold, for the basic reason that he cuts through the usual clutter that prevails at Washington foreign policy pow-wows. He focuses on the realities that in Washington are so routinely glossed over by self-serving special interests, political hocus-pocus and diplomatic wishful thinking. Bolton has worked for decades -- in and out of government -- on matters of national security. His method is to size up the world as it really is, tell the truth and look for genuine solutions. That does not make him popular in some of the more rarefied New York-Washington policy circles, but it does bode well for serving the president, the country and the real needs of national security.
For a sample of just how delusional the criticism of Bolton can get, take one of the charges leveled against him in the New York Times editorial mentioned above. The editorial denounces Bolton as having "largely disdained diplomacy and arms control in favor of military solutions," and adds that: