Trump fires national security adviser Bolton

US President Donald Trump has unexpectedly fired his national security adviser John Bolton. He explained on Twitter that his decision was the result of differences of opinion. This is the latest addition to the long list of dismissals, changes in staff and resignations since Trump took office. Observers voice concern.

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The Guardian (GB) /

Whims and vanity in government

US foreign policy is becoming increasingly unpredictable, The Guardian complains:

“No one should cheer the chaotic and dysfunctional nature of this administration. Its boss revels in divisions and factionalism among his staff, which allows him to continue governing by his whims, kneejerk reactions and vanity. It is neither normal nor desirable for the national security adviser to be excluded from meetings about Afghanistan - even if it is a relief, when the individual concerned is (or was) Mr Bolton. It is more likely that he was fired because he dented his boss's ego than because his advice was so bad.”

NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

Talks with the Taliban not really over?

A clash over policy was behind the dismissal of Bolton, who was firmly opposed to holding talks with the Taliban, NRC Handelsblad suspects:

“In the end the interventionist Bolton, who during the Venezuela crisis in January was seen holding a notepad with the words '5000 soldiers to Colombia' written on it, succumbed to Trump's isolationist instincts. ... If the removal of Bolton ends the policy dispute - which due to Trump's incomprehensible line in international diplomacy cannot be taken for granted - this would mean that the talks between the US and the Taliban are perhaps not as dead as the president said they were on Monday. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed on Sunday that the talks with the Taliban had been 'temporarily' suspended.”