Today in “no shit”: According to the New York Times, the Pentagon is starting to worry that the words and actions of national security advisor John Bolton—a man who has dedicated his entire career to starting a war with Iran—might actually cause a war with Iran.
The Times reports that last year, the National Security Council (whose Principals Committee is chaired by the national security advisor), at Bolton’s direction, asked the Pentagon “to provide the White House with military options to strike Iran.” The reported reason for the potential strike was retaliation for rocket fire near the American embassy in Baghdad by a Shia militia last September.
The request reportedly “alarmed” then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis and other high-ranking Defense department officials, which, duh. Eventually, however, military leaders including Mattis, who is not an Iran dove by any stretch of the imagination, succeeded in keeping a military strike off the table.
This probably sounds familiar if you have even a cursory knowledge of John Bolton’s career. The former ambassador to the UN who didn’t want the UN to exist has been on the “bomb Iran” hobby horse for decades. In 2015, he wrote an op-ed in the New York Times arguing for a preemptive strike on Iran, and this was just a few months before the Iran nuclear deal was confirmed. (Soon after Bolton came on, President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement.)
If all of this didn’t put the fear of god into you—especially considering that a former Boeing executive is Mattis’ replacement at the Pentagon, at least for now—here are some details from the Times piece about Bolton being a level-10 control freak who wants to rule over U.S. foreign policy by fiat:
What happened next illustrates Mr. Bolton’s management style. As the president’s national security adviser, he has largely eliminated the internal policy debates that could air high-level disagreements.
Mr. Bolton does not want to hear opposing views, these officials said, abhors leaks and wants to control everything that flows to the president. But the result is that there is not much consideration of options and, more important, the risk of escalation, according to these people.
Wonderful. And if you thought that congressional Republicans might be even remotely alarmed by the White House’s chief chickenhawk’s moves, which could’ve resulted in another conflict that we absolutely will not win, think again:
We are so fucked. Time to buy ten tubs of the prepper mac and cheese.