Small Wars Journal

New National Security Adviser John Bolton Faces ‘Baptism by Fire’

New National Security Adviser John Bolton Faces ‘Baptism by Fire’ by Dion Nissenbaum and Farnaz Fassihi – Wall Street Journal

President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser enters the White House this week facing an immediate test in developing a response to a suspected chemical-weapons attack in Syria that has killed dozens.

John Bolton, who has served as American ambassador to the United Nations, State Department official under two presidents, and a Fox News commentator, is known for advocating muscular military responses to advance U.S. interests and will play a key role in helping Mr. Trump decide whether to strike Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“It’s going to be baptism by fire,” said Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington think tank with close ties to the Trump administration. “It will be interesting to see whether it’s the same John Bolton in the White House that we see on Fox News.”

Over the years, Mr. Bolton, 69 years old, has taken different views on the U.S. approach to Syria. In 2013, when then-President Barack Obama threatened to launch a military strike against Mr. Assad’s regime after he used sarin gas in one deadly attack, Mr. Bolton opposed the move…

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