John R. Bolton Articles


The Email Saga

The more you know about the State Department, the worse Hillary's actions look.
Feb 15, 2016

For alumni of U.S. national-security departments and agencies, Hillary Clinton’s email saga is mind-numbing. The publicly available information makes clear she and her aides violated so many elementary security prohibitions that alumni are speechless. They wonder, had they done what she did, how quickly they would have lost their clearances and jobs and how extensive the criminal indictments against them would be.

By contrast, many who have never served in government or dealt with classified information see the affair as opaque, even overblown. Certainly Clinton has worked hard to foster that impression.

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The Putin Challenge

A sobering assessment of post-Soviet Russia.
Jan 18, 2016

During his traditional year-end press conference in Moscow, Vladimir Putin delighted in toying with America’s political process by touting Donald Trump as the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. Less clear was whether Putin was delivering kudos or lumps of coal to the Trump campaign: Was this a burst of candor from an envious fellow politician (and friend of oligarchs), or an exercise in Soviet-style maskirovka, intended to achieve a more devious result? Or both?

Had anyone asked Garry Kasparov's assessment of Putin's pre-Christmas gambit, it would have been decidedly negative.

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Lessons from a Non-Candidacy

The GOP field gets a little less crowded.
Jun 01, 2015

On May 14, I joined a tiny, highly exclusive group of Republicans, namely those who have decided not to seek our party’s presidential nomination. By contrast, the coach section of the party contains perhaps two dozen people who have announced (or soon will) their availability. Good luck to them all (well, maybe not all). Here’s the hard reality. If two dozen candidates actually declare, 23 of them will lose. I, on the other hand, will still be able to say I have never been defeated in a nomination contest.

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Mischief at the U.N.

Obama toys with cutting Israel adrift in the Security Council.
Apr 06, 2015

Immediately after Israel’s March 17 election, Obama administration officials threatened to allow (or even encourage) the U.N. Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state and confine Israel to its pre-1967 borders. Within days, the president himself joined in, publicly criticizing not just Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom Obama has had notoriously bad relations, but sectors of Israeli opinion and even Israel itself.

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Pushing Back Against Putin

No U.S. leadership, no NATO.
Sep 15, 2014

Vladimir Putin’s efforts to establish hegemony over Ukraine may now have reached a decisive point both for the balance of power in Central and Eastern Europe and for the NATO alliance. Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko warned on August 30 that Russia’s invasion of his country and extensive aid to pro-Moscow separatists could soon “reach the point of no return,” becoming a generalized conflict. German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that “the situation is increasingly getting out of control.”

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NATO Is Still the Answer

Obama’s floundering Ukraine policy.
May 05, 2014

The continuing Ukraine crisis raises both a critical “what if?” question and a pressing policy issue. What if, in April 2008, the Europeans had not rejected President Bush’s proposal to bring Ukraine and Georgia onto a clearly defined path to joining NATO? And today, urgently, should we try again for NATO membership?

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The UNESCO Follies Are Back

The Obama administration bungles the Palestinians’ membership vote.
Nov 14, 2011

The Palestinian Authority succeeded last Monday in becoming a member state in the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The vote was 107 in favor, 14 opposed, and 52 abstaining, with France, Spain, Austria, and India among those supporting PA admission. Two of our closest allies, the United Kingdom and Japan, abstained.

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