Former national security advisor John Bolton—recently fired by President Trump—has been wrong about a lot. After 18 years of fighting and no end in sight, Bolton wanted America to double down on the war in Afghanistan, where the Taliban controls the same area of land they did a decade ago.
“Never let a serious crisis go to waste,” a political adage in its most recent iteration attributed to former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, long predated the Obama administration and will continue as long as politics exists. Times of crisis, whether natural or man-made, will always make it easier to pass previously unacceptable policies either as a remedy to the crisis or to little fanfare while the public is distracted by tragedy or chaos.
John Bolton is everything you don’t want in a national security adviser. He is as stubborn as a rhinoceros, as crafty as a snake, and as dangerous as a scorpion. Bolton’s is an extreme black-and-white view of the world: if you aren’t an ally of the United States, you are an adversary who needs a boot on your neck in the form of U.S. military force or economic sanctions.
Today is the eighteenth anniversary of the dark terrorist act that wounded America and spawned the war in Afghanistan which has continued, without pause or purpose, since that awful day. This past weekend, President Donald Trump canceled a year-long peace effort between the U.S. and the Taliban, a project advocates claimed could end the war.
While negotiations between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and France’s Emmanuel Macron are showing signs of a breakthrough, U.S.-Iran relations have deteriorated. Though Macron insists Rouhani may enter talks with President Trump soon, the broader trajectory of Washington’s relationship with Tehran over the past three years has been away from effective negotiations.
In a White House speech last May, President Trump made a familiar claim for American politicians: “We have the greatest military, right now, that the world has ever known.” Given the current composition, organization and capabilities of the world’s leading militaries, there is presently no nation on earth that could successfully launch a surprise, unprovoked attack against the United States and defeat us.
U.S.-supported military intervention into Yemen’s civil war, the coalition leaders announced Monday. This comes despite battlefield setbacks and broad condemnation of the intervention’s methods, which have resulted in high civilian casualties, widespread food shortages, epidemic disease, and credible accusations of war crimes.
On July 4, 1821, then-Secretary of State John Quincy Adams answered critics who implied the United States wasn’t doing enough on the world stage. America, he said, “is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all,” but is “the champion and vindicator only of her own.” His words might appropriately apply to Hong Kong today.