I second Jennifer’s observations/analysis 100%…
The most important reason why bringing John Bolton in couldn’t be more timely
There’s been some good (and bad) writing in the last week about Donald Trump’s choice of Ambassador John Bolton to succeed General H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser.
There has also been superb writing (see Omri Ceren, for example) about the specific problem of the Iran nuclear program and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the peculiar non-agreement perpetrated in July 2015 but never signed by Iran, never agreed to by Iran in the same language as understood by the other parties, and clearly never seen as binding by Iran, which has continued to violate the terms of the JCPOA and UN resolution 2231, by which it was, to some degree, “implemented.”
Bolton’s appointment is considered by many to be a sign that the Trump administration is indeed serious about Trump’s ultimatum to our European partners in the JCPOA; that is, “fix it,” with a deadline of 12 May for serious proposals, or we pull out.
Some observers see Bolton’s reputation as the kind of bolstering factor that will make Trump’s threat even more credible. This logic would apply to the potential for nuclear negotiations with North Korea as well.
It’s not just Bolton’s tough reputation that would make the difference. His background and expertise enable him to design a strategy for getting to Trump’s desired outcome in both cases. One of the most important obstacles Trump has faced in his first year in office is the lack of a focal point in the administration for crafting such a strategy.