By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

President Trump asked John Bolton to step down as National Security Adviser, and he did.  It wasn’t some big, nasty firing like the media has been trying to make it out as, but Bolton was, essentially, fired.  I believe Bolton served well as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, helping Trump strengthen the way the world looks at the United States as the world’s superpower.  And, I think he taught our president a few things along the way.

Bolton understands the world, and that the bad guys out there are indeed bad actors that often can neither be negotiated with, or must be dealt with using a firm hand.  He recognizes the myriad of threats facing the United States, and projects an uncompromising view that the U.S. must protect its interests by projecting strength when dealing with our enemies.

Bolton has been in the game a long time.  He sees the world situation in a way the rest of us are unable to, recognizing things down the road that may become consequences if we don’t address them properly.  Bolton is not a conventional wisdom kind of guy who folds under liberal calls for appeasement, but instead has stood as a firm defender of the American way, and our place as a leader on the world stage.  As a result, he successfully partnered with our president to ensure that Trump’s “America First” approach to foreign policy was laid out properly.

Bolton stood by Trump as maximum pressure was applied against the Iranian regime.  Now, Iran is a shadow of the threat they were during the Obama presidency, now more concerned with its economic woes.  As a result, Iran’s ability to fund terrorism, and conduct terrorism, has been nipped.  Thanks to President Trump, and the support of Bolton, we have withdrawn from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, and Bolton, in his role as national security adviser, has played a significant part in ensuring another flawed deal is not on the horizon.

Bolton also played a part in America’s response to the Venezuela crisis, confronting Russian aggression, and the constant trouble that always seems to be bubbling in the Middle East.  He was instrumental in talking to our NATO allies regarding their lack of investment in their own defense (while leaning heavily on America’s good will).  In the process Bolton stood firm against Putin, and called out Russia for their aggression and threats to Europe, making it very clear that the United States was committed to defending its allies who may be targets of Russia.

Bolton’s leadership in Asia has led to a strengthened U.S.-Taiwan relationship, a policy of pushing back against China, and America’s support of the people in Hong Kong.
He also was a staunch defender of national sovereignty and self-determination as Britain’s exit (Brexit) from the European Union emerged.  Because of Bolton, a better relationship with the supporters of Brexit in Britain has developed, as well as an offering by the United States that we stand with Britain and her efforts to escape from the tyrannical grip of the European Union.

Bolton’s departure, while a sad occurrence, leaves a tremendous legacy in its wake.  The White House is in a stronger position to meet the challenges facing the United States because of his presence in the administration.

In my opinion Bolton was among the most effective national security advisers I’ve seen in my lifetime, and he will be sorely missed.  Deep down, I think President Trump realizes that, and while I don’t know the reasons Bolton was asked to step down, I am sure it was a long and difficult decision for the president.
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