WATCH: Did Trump Fire Bolton Because He Can’t Figure Out What His Own Foreign Policy Is? [Trendpinion Commentary]
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The president, in his tweets, wrote,
I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning…
Bolton, for his own part, has insisted that he wasn’t fired — that instead, he quit, implying it was a decision made on his own terms.
Regardless of who quit or who was fired, Bolton’s departure is a thing to be celebrated. The former national security adviser is as hawkish as they get, and we should be happy that his advice to Trump will no longer be heeded.
But it also leaves a big vacuum in a position Trump has long had difficulty filling. Bolton served in the role for 520 days. That’s the longest anyone has served in that role under Trump so far, which is more worrisome than anything else.
Sure, Bolton was the wrong person for the job. But a sense of permanence, and much more, a sense of direction, is needed by whoever takes on this role next. Our national security depends on having someone advising the president with sound — and consistent — advice on foreign policy. Having a new person in the position too frequently makes it difficult to know what exactly Trump has in mind when it comes to dealing with our nation’s adversaries.
That’s truly the bigger issue here. Trump has picked three national security advisers to serve him so far, and has had two acting advisers besides them. That’s a total of five individuals who have sat in meetings as Trump’s top national security adviser — all within a two-and-a-half-year time period.
Trump once bragged about hiring only the best to serve him. But I think it’s clear, with Bolton’s departure, that the issue isn’t just the people he asks to work for him. The larger problem is that Trump doesn’t know exactly what he wants — and I believe that’s because he’s incompetent when it comes to issues affecting our nation’s foreign policy.