Today Jeff and Corey consider the choice of John Bolton to become Donald Trump’s national security advisor (replacing Gen. H.R. McMaster), as well as the promotion of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State (replacing Rex Tillerson). The shakeup represents a major worldview shift from orange modernity to amber traditionalism in the war cabinet of a President who often operates from the red power stage.
So long status quo, which has avoided nuclear war for 75 years and brought about significant disarmament in the last 25.
The upside: a grand bargain. Kim Jong Un, knowing we really do have a bigger nuclear button, doesn’t trust Trump and Bolton not to use it any more than the rest of us do. Therefore he will be pliable in negotiations that eliminate missiles that could hit the US, and perhaps even more in return for decreasing the American military presence in South Korea, which Donald Trump would like to do anyway.
The downside: war. Bolton means what he says about the necessity of a first strike, and Trump goes along for the ratings. Can we trust Donald Trump, who has consistently decried the folly of “stupid” wars, to not get us into another one? The appointment of John Bolton radically recasts the odds.