On Thursday evening Donald Trump announced the departure of another key cabinet member. He tweeted that National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster will be stepping down and will be replaced with the former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton.
John Bolton has been very vocal about Afghanistan. He is a political commentator on Fox News. Here are some things he has said and written about Afghanistan in the past year:
“Afghanistan will be won or lost in Pakistan. And I certainly think that more pressure on the government there because of its support for terrorist groups, giving them safe haven in Pakistan is welcome,” said Bolton to Fox News on August 21, 2017 after Donald Trump mentioned Afghanistan in a speech and presented his Afghanistan strategy.
He warned that “Pakistan is a nuclear power and to see them tip into terrorist control themselves would give us North Korea or Iran on steroids.”
Regarding Trump’s Afghanistan policy, Bolton said “Much of what the President said is exactly right. He’s not going to have artificial time limits. He’s not going to negotiate with the Taliban until they have been sufficiently beaten back.”
“There’s still the implicit argument that we’re fighting in Afghanistan to defend Afghanistan.That is incidental to the reason we’re there. We’re there to protect America from the terrorist threat. And that’s why when you say there’s no blank check for Afghanistan, certainly, in terms of nation-building, I absolutely agree with that. But we cannot believe that our defense ultimately rests on Afghanistan because if that’s the case, we’ve got real trouble” Bolton added.
Regarding the International Criminal Court’s probe on U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan, Bolton wrote an oped in the Wall Street Journal. He wrote, “At most, the White House should reply to Ms. Bensouda with a terse note: ‘Dear Madame Prosecutor: You are dead to us. Sincerely, the United States,'” Bolton wrote. “Other countries wanted the ICC; let them live with it.”
“The Trump administration should not respond to Ms. Bensouda in any way that acknowledges the ICC’s legitimacy,” he wrote. “Even merely contesting its jurisdiction risks drawing the U.S. deeper into the quicksand.”
Bolton is expected to become National Security Advisor on April 9th, 2018, tweeted President Trump.