Sunday, 20 Oct 2019
OPINION

Spectacular but not surprised

Updated at Wednesday, 18 Sep 2019, 15:15
The Hanoitimes - Trump and Bolton clashed on, first, Trump`s approach on North Korea and, second, on Iran and finally the Afghan Taliban.
His first term in office is still far from being over but US President Donald Trump has already dismissed his third national security adviser. After Michael Flynn and Herbert R. McMaster, now is John Bolton. The disagreement between Trump and Bolton was, as the president put it, “strong", not only in matters of the American foreign and security policies but also in the way John Bolton left his office at the White House. John Bolton asserted that he voluntarily resigned while Donald Trump claimed that he was fired.
 
John Bolton and President Trump. Photo: Getty Images
John Bolton and President Trump. Photo: Getty Images
The personnel merry-go-round in Trump's administration so far has always been spectacular and John Bolton was only a new example. But Bolton's departure was foreseeable and therefore not surprising. That John Bolton would one day have to leave office has long been an open secret in America. He shared with Trump many common stances such as how to understand and practice "America First" or how to undermine international and multilateral organizations and institutions. But unlike Trump, Bolton is a fanatic advocate of American military interventionism in the world and of regime changes in other countries through military actions, including wars.

Trump and Bolton clashed on, first, Trump's approach on North Korea and, second, on Iran and finally the Afghan Taliban. For all the three, Trump offered direct dialogues and summits while Bolton preferred and pushed to maximum pressures and confrontations, even to military actions and wars. Bolton's ideals and intentions contradicted fundamentally Trump's electoral commitments while running for presidency in 2016. That is why Bolton was not only no longer useful for Trump's presidency but also even became a danger for Trump's ambition to be reelected in next year's presidential election.

The other reason is that Trump only needs, likes, accepts and uses obedient personnel around himself. John Bolton is widely considered a "hawk" and not "dove" in Trump's closest power circle. State Secretary Mike Pompeo is evidently as hawkish as Bolton but until now he has been never in public disagreement with Trump.

The national security adviser traditionally has powerful influences on the president. But under Trump, the national security adviser, like all other members of his administration, has little and limited say. Trump has even declared it publicly when saying that being a national security adviser is "an easy job". And he added: "You know why it is easy? Because I make all of the decisions - You don't have to work". And that is why regardless who will succeed John Bolton as Trump’s next and fourth national security adviser, this person will again have little influence on Trump and the appointment of a new national security adviser will have little impact on Trump's foreign and security policies in the coming time.
Ambassador Tran Duc Mau
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Others:
Squaring the Circle (21 Jul 2019)
Fatal leaks (11 Jul 2019)
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