On Thursday, March 22, Trump’s National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster announced his resignation effective April 9. McMaster, a three-star Army General, will also be retiring from the military after 34 years in uniform. Trump also announced that he will be replacing McMaster with former Ambassador John Bolton, who served as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. under President George W. Bush.
While tensions have been rising between Trump and McMaster in recent weeks, some reports say that Trump made to move to get ahead of other news stories. However, according to a White House official, “This was not related to any one moment or incident, rather it was the result of ongoing conversations between the two.”
For conservatives and national security hawks, Bolton is the perfect pick to replace McMaster. His foreign policy experience coupled with his strikingly similar views to Trump’s on national security make him an excellent choice. For liberals, however, this is not just a bad pick, but a dangerous pick as well. Liberals look at his provocative views when it comes to North Korea, Iraq, and Syria, and can’t help to wonder whether or not our military presence in the Middle East is going to increase.
Trump’s announcement also comes less than two months before scheduled talks between the U.S. and North Korea about denuclearization and other security issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula. Selecting Bolton at this time is that much more interesting because he is often in favor of going to war, just as he was in favor of the Iraq War in 2003. Whether Bolton advocates war or peace when it comes to North Korea, however, remains to be seen.