After U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton resigned (or was fired, depending on who you ask), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said that Bolton was “naive,” and that his departure would “decrease the chance of war.” Sen. Paul is wrong. Bolton is realistic, not “naive.” Indeed, this was among the reasons cited by U.S. President Donald Trump for why he hired Bolton in the first place.
Without Bolton’s sage advice, Trump is likely to find himself at a distinct disadvantage in understanding how our enemies behave. For example, meeting or negotiating with evil regimes is understood by them as a sign of weakness, potentially prolonging a war or leading to an appeasement strategy to end a war quickly (as sometimes happens in the lead-up to a domestic election).
Recall that World War II could have been avoided had England and its European allies heeded the warnings of Winston Churchill and dealt decisively with Germany as it was building a massive war machine in violation of the Versailles Treaty. Had they done so, some 60 million lives could have been saved.
Let’s look at four of the most complicated national-security and foreign-policy dilemmas facing America right now:
• The Taliban: America should treat the Taliban in Afghanistan as the enemy it is. The Taliban must be bankrupted or destroyed. No negotiations.
• Islamic State and Al-Qaeda: Similarly, we should be fighting these and all Islamist terrorist gangs militarily, not engaging in pointless negotiations. This does not necessarily mean that America should engage in this war alone; ideally we should be working with 20 to 30 local allies to wipe out these non-state terrorist organizations.
• Iran: The world’s #1 Islamist terror-sponsoring nation should be treated like ISIS, not like China. We have nothing in common with the Iran’s theocratic totalitarian rulers, who have promised to take over the world and kill everyone in the United States. Recall that Iran’s “supreme leader” led public chants of “Death to America!” as his agents were “negotiating” the nuclear “deal” with the Obama administration.
Most recently, Iran or its terrorist proxies in Yemen launched a massive strike on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, which caused fuel costs to soar by 10 percent worldwide. The United States must severely punish Iran’s military and unmercifully bankrupt the country over the next 12 months. There is no middle ground. In any case, no negotiations.
• China: For now, China is more of a competitor than an enemy, run by very rational and determined leaders. A trade deal is quite doable, but cannot be consummated quickly, as there are numerous issues that must be addressed. A good chance exists that a reasonable deal can be negotiated. (*This may well change, as China continues building its massive war-fighting capability, including a blue-water navy, capable of challenging the United States on every front.)
With savvy strategists like Bolton, the bad guys are more likely to give up or surrender. Perhaps this is why Iran’s leaders praised and mocked Bolton’s departure from the White House, echoing the U.S. mainstream “news” media and “social justice” groups.
Without advisers like him, the United States is likely to choose inaction, and wars may drag on forever. We certainly hope that the remaining national-security advisers quickly fill the void created by Bolton’s departure. Right now, the threat of war is rising rapidly, whether our political leaders like it or not. Inaction is not in America’s best interest.
Ken Abramowitz is the president and founder of SaveTheWest.