At Young America’s Foundation’s Midwest Conference in Columbus, Ohio, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton addressed the attendees about foreign policy and America’s role in bringing stability to the world. He also mentioned the importance of YAF’s mission in bringing different opinions to various college campuses that challenge the liberal consensus in academia.
Of course, one of the areas that Bolton touched upon was the current situation in Syria, where Russia recently began their air campaign. The Russians had asked us to vacate Syrian airspace, which Secretary of State John Kerry rebuffed, though we’re now engaging in de-confliction talks to avoid aerial incidents between the U.S. Air Force and that of the Russian Federation.
Bolton noted that Israel had once asked the United States for de-confliction codes so they could deploy their air force before the first Persian Gulf War. We said no. When the Israelis said their actions would be in the defense of their country, Bolton said the U.S. position was resolute: Keep your planes on the ground; we’re protecting you.
Bolton added with Russia’s intervention in Syria, “We’re legitimizing their military presence in a region where for 50 years we’ve tried to keep them out.”
During the Q&A session, one student from the University of Central Missouri asked Bolton what should Secretary of State Kerry do regarding amending the Iranian nuclear agreement. Bolton was blunt.
“My recommendation for Secretary Kerry is that he should resign,” which drew applause from the audience.
Bolton added that he personally felt Iran was going to be successfully negotiated out of its nuclear ambitions, and that the only alternative was the use of military force–which he hoped Israel would do since it was clear that the Obama administration wasn’t going to drop bombs on their known nuclear sites.
This deal proves that point, as it gave Obama an out on the military option, though we have one in place. Bolton said there were two outcomes to this situation. One is that Iran gets the nuclear weapons; the other is that military strikes prevent that from happening. He admits that it’s a rather unpleasant scenario, with “very unattractive alternatives.” Yet, this is the consequence of 35 years of diplomatic failure with Iran.
He also said if Israel should strike Iranian nuclear sites, we should support them since they’re "doing our work for us,” and as a legitimate exercise in their self-defense. Bolton also mentioned that Iran is very close to intercontinental ballistic missile technology, which has only one purpose: to hit us. Iran already has the capability to deliver nuclear payloads to Israel.
Editor's Note: Bolton recommending Kerry resign begins at the 2 hours and 5 minute mark.