If you could put a face to the America that reviles diplomacy, it would wear an Asterix moustache and go by the name of John Bolton. The joke goes that Bolton never met a war he did not like. That may be an understatement. Donald Trump’s new national security adviser rarely sees a peaceful entanglement that could not be improved by artillery. Bolton "is the kind of man I would like to stand with at Armageddon", said the late Jesse Helms, one of America’s most hawkish senators. Richard Painter, the chief ethics officer for George W Bush’s administration, tweeted that "Mr Bolton’s hiring is an invitation to war, perhaps nuclear war." In practice, it is the president who makes the decisions. His advisers advise. But Bolton’s presence will exaggerate Trump’s most undiplomatic instincts. The implications for the future of the Iran nuclear deal and the US confrontation with North Korea are stark. Last year Bolton said, "Trump can and should free America from this execrable Iran deal at th...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now