McMaster out, Bolton in

McMaster out, Bolton in
US President Donald Trump has revealed that the country’s current National Security Advisor, HR McMaster would be replaced by John Bolton. Bolton is..

US President Donald Trump has revealed that the country’s current National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster would be replaced by John Bolton.

Bolton is known for his hawkish rhetoric and has often advocated war against Iran and North Korea.

Background

US President Donald Trump is a polarizing figure in world politics. His administration has also been criticized for being chaotic and controversial. Key members of the administration have left the administration since it came together in 2017. According to a study done by Kathryn Dunn Tenpas of the Brookings Institute the Trump White House has set the record for one of the highest attrition rates. The research notes that one in three staffers who were part of the White House left their positions within the first year. This is higher than the attrition rates in the five previous administrations. Some of the people who left or were dismissed include Steve Bannon, former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, acting Attorney General Sally Yates, former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Anthony Scaramucci, former Press Secretary Sean Spicer and more.

In the month of February, a number of high profile resignations and firings took place in the White House. Chief among them was the dismissal of Rob Porter, a White House aide who had been accused of domestic violence. The White House initially published a statement of support to Rob Porter. However, the tide quickly turned and the current Chief of Staff John Kelly is reported to have fired him. In March, President Trump dismissed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson through a Tweet.

Analysis

The Trump administration has confirmed that current National Security Advisor, HR McMaster has resigned. He will likely be replaced by John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations. President Trump announced the development through a tweet noting, “I pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, @AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor. I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend. There will be an official contact handover on 4/19.”

“The two have been discussing this for some time. The timeline was expedited as they both felt it was important to have the new team in place, instead of constant speculation,” a White House official said. “This was not related to any one moment or incident, rather it was the result of ongoing conversations between the two.”

A nationalist and a conservative, Bolton served as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from August 2005 until December 2006 as a recess appointee by President George W. Bush. With Bolton, Trump has found an aide who enthusiastically advocates a hawkish approach. He has signaled his support for initiating a war against North Korea and Iran.

Experts have warned that this could result in more violence. “A close look shows he’s genuinely one of the most extreme, irresponsible, and dangerous voices in the country,” said Adam Mount, a senior fellow and nuclear weapons policy expert at the Federation of American Scientists.

McMaster was not the only high-profile departure in the span of a few days. According to a report, Trump’s lead lawyer John Dowd for the special counsel investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 election has also resigned. He was among those who had advocated Trump to not fire special counsel Robert Mueller. With his departure, Trump could possibly work towards ending the ongoing investigation.

Assessment

Our assessment is that the US President Donald Trump is now creating a cabinet with people who mostly agree with him on domestic and international affairs. He has hired highly conservative people who will advocate for a more aggressive approach to foreign policy. A war against Iran or North Korea would have devastating effect. The departure of John Dowd also threatens the future of the special counsel investigation into Russian interference.

Read more: McMaster to leave?

Tillerson out, Pompeo in

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