The Guardian view on John Bolton: good riddance, but the problem is his boss | Editorial


Many will rightly celebrate the departure of the US national security adviser. But however welcome the news, it reflects the deeper problems with this administration

No sensible observer of international affairs could lament Donald Trump’s announcement that he has fired John Bolton as his national security adviser – though in typically combative style, Mr Bolton insists that he quit. Whatever the precise manner of his departure, plenty of people in Washington, including lifelong Republicans, are cheering. Many others around the world will celebrate. This is a rare presidential outcome that can be welcomed even by those who despise Mr Trump and all he stands for.

The political demise of the reckless uberhawk who bears so much responsibility for so much appalling American foreign policy in the past, and who had attempted to steer the president towards so much more, is welcome. When he entered the administration last spring – as the president’s third permanent national security adviser in 14 months – he had been arguing forcefully for “preemptive” attacks on North Korea. There was an obvious clash of wills with Mr Trump: unlike the president, he believes in aggressive foreign intervention and an international military presence to match. One fear was that his indisputable tactical skills within the government machine and sheer relentlessness might allow him to prevail.

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