Why Hasn’t Trump Fired Bolton Already?

Jack Parkos | @laissez_faire76

Before “Make America Great Again,” Trump was known by another famous slogan: “You’re Fired!” It’s not always easy to fire someone, but it sometimes is necessary to ensure all goes well. Now Trump needs to fire a member of his cabinet: Security Advisor John Bolton.

Trump’s Foreign Policy Problem

A member of Trump’s Presidential cabinet should agree with him the vast majority of the time. But John Bolton and Donald Trump don’t see eye to eye on most things. In fact, they seem to have an almost opposite approach to foreign policy.

During his campaign, Donald Trump received much criticism from the Republican establishment after he called the Iraq War a disaster. Meanwhile, Bolton strongly supported the war during the Bush administration. In fact, even as far back as the Clinton presidency, he was urging Bill to topple Saddam Hussein. Bolton has called the Iraq war a success. On the other hand, Trump thinks it’s a disaster that’s cost trillions of dollars and thousands of lives.

Iran may be one of the biggest foreign policy issues of our time. President Trump and John Bolton do not agree whatsoever on the matter. Bolton has made it clear that he wants a war in Iran for years. He even promised to overthrow the Iranian regime before 2019.

After an oil carrier was sunk in the Persian Gulf, Bolton immediately jumped to accuse Iran and demanded action. But Trump wanted to think it over. When Iran shot down an unmanned American drone, the president called off a retaliation strike that would have killed around 150 people.

Trump and Bolton have completely different views on Iran. Trump wants to think through the situation. War is the last option for him. John Bolton is neoconservative hawk whose first option is war. So why are these two men working together? For the sake of a cohesive and effective administration, the president should surround himself with people who agree with him.

Bolton is Wrong

Bolton is not what this country needs and Trump is starting to get that. Trump has been calling out Bolton for his hawkish attitude. He put it bluntly to Bolton: “Let me guess, you want to nuke them all?” He also said that “John has never seen a war he doesn’t like.”

So why is Trump keeping him on his cabinet? Some suggest that he wants Bolton to be the bad cop in a good cop bad cop foreign policy. But is this really a smart idea? The President has the ultimate authority on military action, so what’s the point of having a bad cop that can’t do anything? All Bolton can do is advise the President and urge him towards war. The “bad cop” wants a full-scale war with Iran and nothing short of it. Unlike Trump, he does not want to consider diplomacy. In a good cop bad cop, there’s typically a similar end with different means. Trump and Bolton don’t have similar ends.

A president should not have an advisor that has an almost exact opposite view as them. Bolton will always advise the president to strike. He has supported intervention in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Libya and thinks every intervention is a success. Nobody with Bolton’s lust for war should be in the president’s cabinet.

The cabinet should be full of people who will help him make wise decisions. A man with a decades-long war obsession has no place. Bolton needs to be fired.

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