Stay TOONED: John Bolton in the House

Bolton served in the presidential administrations of Ronald Reagan George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and held roles in the Justice and State departments

On Thursday evening, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster would step down as his national security advisor.

If there were ever any checks on the erratic, impulsive Trump foreign policy, they almost vanished last week. Sitting back after Trump chose to go with the recently fired Rex Tillerson, Bolton waited patiently until the President called him into service once again.

Incoming national security adviser John Bolton, the third under President Trump's administration, reportedly has plans for a "massive shakeup" at the National Security Council that involves the removal of "dozens" of White House officials, according to a Foreign Policy report Friday. The president is expected to meet North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un by the end of that month to talk about that country's rogue nuclear program.

These days, Bolton is touting "regime change" against Iran.

McMaster's exit followed a string of reported disagreements between the him and the president, particularly, the relationship between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Bolton once argued that if the United Nations building in Manhattan "lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference".

"I think this increases the danger that if a Trump-Kim summit results in Trump feeling he's been played or betrayed, a military strike is more likely than before", Robert Manning, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank, said in comments to Yonhap.

He preferred his near daily briefings with his Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo, whose gung ho attitude towards Iran rhymed with his own, and enjoyed watching Bolton fulminating on Fox News.

"This is not a wise choice".

The U.S. national security adviser can't afford to indulge in let's-do-this-and-see-what-happens bluster.

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David Wright, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, called said that Bolton's "extreme views are particularly unsafe now given his opposition to diplomacy with Iran and North Korea". There is an worldwide community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world, and that's the United States, when it suits our interests and when we can get others to go along.

Mr Bolton has also advocated getting rid of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, a pact that Mr Trump has opposed.

He has also called for "effective countermeasures to the cyber war that Russian Federation is engaging".

During the George W. Bush years he was an insider in the crowd that included Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, the guys who wrote the manifesto for the Project for a New American Century, which served as the theoretical basis for the Iraq war. "However, if the recent moves to bring in Bolton and Pompeo signal to the North Koreans that they can no longer string the USA and others along, it could help with a breakthrough".

Pompeo echoes Bolton. He wants to roll back "the disastrous deal" with Iran, and said past year, on Fox News, that the only diplomatic option left with North Korea was "to end the regime".

"The important thing is what the president says and the advice I give him", he said. Both allies should be concerned that should diplomacy with North Korea ultimately fail, as may well be likely with Bolton whispering in Trump's year, that a devastating nuclear war is not the automatic fallback.

As he confronts matters of war and peace with North Korea and Iran, Trump is bringing in an adviser likely to magnify many of his own instinctive qualities: hard-hitting, fiercely nationalistic and eager to confront U.S. adversaries. In addition to the tariffs, the USA also plans to impose new investment restrictions and take action against China at the World Trade Organization, and the Treasury Department will also propose additional measures. Instead of diplomatic outreach favored by Tillerson and others, Bolton less than a month ago advocated a pre-emptive USA military strike in a Wall Street Journal editorial.

We don't know how the addition of Bolton and the subtraction of former national security adviser H.R. McMaster will change the equation.

The timing of McMaster's departure in part had been complicated by efforts on the part of the president and Chief of Staff John Kelly to find a suitable landing pad for the three-star general, but one never materialized.

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