Foreign Policy

Bolton to Lecture Russians About Nukes As Trump Withdraws From INF Treaty

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

While Trump is preparing to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) that President Ronald Reagan signed with General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, Trump's top national security adviser John Bolton is preparing to lecture the Russians about North Korea's nuclear weapons.

Bloomberg reports that Bolton is traveling to Moscow where he will insist that Russia enforce economic sanctions against North Korea.

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton will tell Russian officials in Moscow that crippling economic sanctions must be maintained against North Korea until its regime abandons its nuclear weapons, according to a senior administration official.

The Russians and Chinese have suggested that sanctions against Pyongyang should be relaxed, but that is not the American view, the official said.

Even if we set aside Trump's pending withdrawal from the INF treaty, Bolton has another big problem.

His boss already gave the game away. Trump says he "fell in love" with Kim Jong-un. He says they've already started dismantling their nuclear program. He says everything is good now. He says a lot of things.

The Russians know North Korea hasn't given up anything, but why not take Trump at his word anyway? Why should they enforce sanctions when Trump says there's no need to?

I know there's nothing necessarily funny about this, but I laugh my goddamn ass off every time I think about it. And don't get me wrong -- I believe the world should enforce sanctions against North Korea until they give up their nuclear weapons, but Trump continuously undermines his own stated goals. Even if you trusted John Bolton to get the job done, which I certainly don't, he has at least one hand tied behind his back. And he probably tied it himself. I'm sure he supports withdrawing from the INF treaty.

These are the most incompetent people on the planet.

  • Badgerite

    Tell me again what a ‘genius’ Putin is? Explain to me how this works out well for Russians? Or anyone, really. We have had close calls before. What if the next time it isn’t a close call? Nobel Peace Prize ( I scoff). Could Lindsey Graham try to explain to me how he and trump are “making the world a better place.” I don’t see it. In fact, I always thought it was on the world stage that he would do the most harm. And he is in the process of doing just that.
    As to his ‘love affair’ with Kim Jung Un and every other brutal dictator on the planet, I would remind the Senator and the gop of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which ended when Hitler invaded Russia. Alliances made with tyrants are not alliances at all but arrangements of temporary convenience. In fact, it is likely that that is how MBS views his relationship with Kushner and with the US at the moment. A pact of temporary convenience having nothing to do with his ultimate goals.

  • muselet

    John Bolton has always impressed me with his ability not only to be wrong, but also to be a wanker about it.

    I’d laugh myself sick if Vladimir Putin’s personal assistant told Bolton and his entourage to come back some other day when The President wasn’t so busy.


  • 1933john


  • katanahamon

    Well, Susan Sarandon said Hillary was going to start a war, so, clearly this is much better.

    Seriously though..if you haven’t read “Night of the Physicists,” pick it up. It tells the story of the making of the atomic bomb, what the Germans were doing in parallel, and details the dialogue of the captured German Physicists in the days leading up to the first use of the bomb. It shows why we developed it and they didn’t, which ties into the recent death of the leader of the team that destroyed the German heavy water plant. It’s a great read.
    “The Night of the Physicists


    The Night of the Physicists


    Distributed for Haus Publishing

    230 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2015
    In the spring of 1945 the Allies arrested the physicists they believed had worked on the German nuclear programme. Interned in an English country house owned by MI6, their conversations were secretly recorded. Operation Epsilon sought to determine how close Nazi Germany had come to building an atomic bomb. It was in this quiet setting – Farm Hall, near Cambridge – that the interned physicists first heard of the attack on Hiroshima. Aside from changing the course of history, that night was also one of great shock and personal defeat for the physicists – they were under the assumption that they alone had discovered nuclear fission. This is the story of Nazi Germany’s hunt for a nuclear bomb. It is a tale of the genius and guilt of lauded, respected scientists.”

    • muselet

      BBC News has a good obit of Joachim Ronneberg, who led Gunnerside, an operation to destroy Germany’s only source of heavy water.