Is the US president lining up a war cabinet?
Donald Trump is replacing national security adviser HR McMaster with the hawkish former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton in the latest administration shake-up.
I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, @AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor. I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend. There will be an official contact handover on 4/9.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2018
The move, which is fueling alarm, comes just days after installing a former CIA chief as the new secretary of state.
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Bolton rose to prominence under George W Bush and was a very vocal supporter of the US invasion of Iraq.
He is militantly hostile to Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and Syria, among other nations on his target list.
RT reports: On Thursday afternoon Donald Trump decided to sack Gen. HR McMaster from his national security adviser post, replacing him with John Bolton. The former US envoy to the United Nations will assume office on April 9 – just days after Mike Pompeo is set to replace Rex Tillerson as the new secretary of state.
The newly formed doublet has caused shockwaves among the Democrats, who have alleged that Trump seems to be preparing for war. Democratic Senator from Massachusetts Ed Markey warned that Trump is creating a “war cabinet,” warning of “grave danger” following Bolton’s appointment.
John Bolton supports proactively bombing Iran and conducting a first strike on North Korea without provocation. Appointing him to be Nat Sec Advisor is a grave danger to the American people and a clear message from @realDonaldTrump that he is gearing up for military conflict.
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) March 22, 2018
“With the appointments of Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, @realDonaldTrump is successfully lining up his war cabinet. Bolton played a key role in politicizing the intel that misled us into the Iraq War. We cannot let this extreme war hawk blunder us into another terrible conflict,” he tweeted.
“John Bolton supports proactively bombing Iran & striking North Korea with nuclear weapons first without provocation. Appointing him to be Nat Sec Advisor is a grave danger to the American people & a clear message from @realDonaldTrump that he is gearing up for military conflict,” Senator Markey added.
Wanted war w Cuba, arguing wrongly that Cuba had WMD
Wanted war w Iraq, arguing – wrong again – that Iraq had WMD
Believes – wrongly – that Islamic law is taking over America
If you’re always wrong on security, you’re the wrong person to be National Security Advisor
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) March 22, 2018
The choice of Bolton as the national security adviser has also been questioned by Senator Jeff Merkley from Oregon, who has pointed out many flaws with the new appointee’s policies. “If you’re always wrong on security, you’re the wrong person to be National Security Advisor,” Merkley tweeted.
Rep. Barbara Jean Lee of California’s 13th congressional district was also disappointed by Trump’s choice, claiming she is hearing the “drumbeats of war.”
The President is surrounding himself with combative lawyers. He’s replacing Tillerson and McMaster with Pompeo and Bolton.
It’s almost like the President is preparing to go to war in the legal and foreign relations sense…
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) March 22, 2018
Fears expressed by some Capitol Hill members and the public seem justified. The notoriously hawkish former United Nations ambassador was a chief architect of the George W. Bush administration’s justification for the war in Iraq in 2003, that was based on false accusations that Baghdad possessed weapons of mass destruction.
This is one of the most dangerous developments I’ve seen in our foreign and nat’l security policy. Period. #Bolton #McMaster . https://t.co/aEl5aRn9fA
— Steve Israel (@RepSteveIsrael) March 22, 2018
Trump’s choice of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Mike Pompeo as the new secretary of state also made many in Washington uneasy. Unlike his predecessor, Rex Tillerson, Pompeo seems better aligned with Trump’s confrontational foreign policy, namely on the Iran nuclear deal, on North Korea, and on the shift of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Besides politicians, the American public also expressed concern about the feasibility of a looming armed conflict.
John Bolton was part of the effort to mislead the US into the disastrous Iraq war and has supported military action against North Korea and Iran. He was too extreme to be confirmed as UN ambassador in 2005 and is absolutely the wrong person to be national security advisor now.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) March 22, 2018
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders called Bolton “absolutely the wrong person to be national security advisor now,” recalling how he deceived the public about the Iraq war.