The New York Times reported on Monday that hard-liners in the Trump administration are reviewing a military plan against Iran. According to the publication’s sources, the effort — lead by notorious war hawk John Bolton — would likely result in the United States sending 120,000 troops to the Middle East.
Today, Newsweek confirmed the reporting after reaching out to its own sources, who added that the administration is preparing multiple military options to deal with Iran. According to them, the original 120,000 U.S. forces would be merely logistical support, tasked with developing infrastructure for a full-blown invasion.
To those familiar with John Bolton’s career, this hardly comes as a surprise, given that the national security adviser is known for his notoriously hawkish and militaristic foreign policy outlook. But those opposed to regime change wars can breathe a sign of relief: Trump wants to fire Bolton, according to a new report from The National Interest.
Citing individuals briefed on the matter, the publication reports that Bolton is “headed for the exits” because of his pushing for regime change wars with Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea.
“Hearing that Trump wants him out,” a former senior administration official said.
Bolton is not only at odds with Trump, according to those familiar with the conflicts inside the administration, but with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well. Although also supportive of the pressure campaign against Iran, Pompeo is reportedly wary of a full-blown war with the country.
“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Depending on the day, and depending on who you ask, this is Ambassador John Bolton’s moment of ultimate triumph — or it’s the national security adviser’s moment of final overreach.”
According to the National Interest, Bolton’s escalations with Iran are only one of the reasons Trump wants to see his national security adviser go. Bolton’s hawkish posture toward North Korea (a country Trump has tried to build a diplomatic relationship with) and Venezuela (where the administration is backing a coup, but refusing to fully commit to military action) flew him “too close to the sun.”
Some fear John Bolton, Donald Trump's national security adviser, is looking for a provocation by Iran https://t.co/W4FbwhCrRf— The Economist (@TheEconomist) May 14, 2019
The president has, however, sent conflicting signals. Acknowledging that he frequently “tempers” with Bolton, Trump recently addressed media reports about administration infighting, explaining that he has more “dovish” advisers as well.
In 2016, Trump campaigned as an anti-interventionist, but he has since surrounded himself with neoconservatives such as Bolton. D.C. insiders supportive of the president have already, as The Inquisitr reported, expressed concern about Bolton’s presence, arguing that waging wars overseas would jeopardize the president’s 2020 re-election chances by alienating a significant portion of his base.