John Bolton on Homeland Security



America is less secure now than we were six years ago

For the past 6 years, Americans have waited for Obama to lead, to defend our country, and he has consistently failed. Two more years of danger remain until 2016, and his former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is no more up to the job than he was. We are, without question, less secure now than we were 6 years ago.

Americans expect that the president will alert them when there are threats and lay out a program to deal with those threats, but Barack Obama does not consider American national security a priority. He told us in 2008 that his top priority was to fundamentally transform the country, and national security is a distraction from that. I believe he is the first president, Republican or Democrat, since the attack on Pearl Harbor who does not wake up every morning and think, "What threats does America face today?"

The people saw happened last year, and they made Obama's national security failures critical in several key elections. I think the message was unambiguous.

Source: John Bolton speech transcript from 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit , Jan 24, 2015

We don't get peace via weakness; we get Putin invading

We meet at a time of true national security crisis, indeed, many crises, but our biggest national security crisis is Barack Obama. This is a president who considers our strength part of our problem, that we are the cause of international tension.

Ignoring threats to our national security is the Obama doctrine, and the contrast with Ronald Reagan could not be clearer. Reagan believed in peace through strength, not isolationism, not multilateralism. Today, can you just imagine Ronald Reagan dealing with Vladimir Putin? Reagan understood that the principle task of the government is the protection of the United States.

We are not going to get peace through strength because we are not devoting the budget to it, but we're not going to get peace through weakness either. We're going to get what we see today in the Ukraine where Vladimir Putin has a strategy and Obama has nothing, where Putin has a growing defense budget and ours is shrinking.

Source: Speech at 2014 CPAC convention , Mar 7, 2014

Voters care more about national security than media believes

Bolton wants to be president of the United States, or, at the very least, a provocative contender for the 2016 Republican nomination. "My hypothesis is that voters are practical and they care more about national security than the media seems to believe; I think, right now, especially after two terms of President Obama, they want a president who has the know-how to lead during a crisis, a president who can defend our national interests," he says. He concluded in 2011 that "I had to do something more for my party and my country than idly watching as the debate on foreign policy and America's role in the world devolves into these bumper-sticker slogans, or veers toward the isolationist undercurrent that's growing."
Source: Robert Costa in the National Review , Aug 22, 2013

Punish Russia & China for helping Snowden leak NSA documents

Russia's recent actions surrounding NSA leaker Edward Snowden are doing "real damage," Bolton said, so it's time to return the favor. "I think in order to focus Putin's thinking, we need to do things that cause him pain as well." Bolton said canceling the meeting between Putin and Obama during the G-20 summit is not a real move. "Canceling this meeting has all the impact on Putin of Obama fluttering his eyelids. It's purely symbolic," he said.

The Russians have "consistently outmaneuvered us over the last 4 years. They've embarrassed the president on his reset button," Bolton said.

Bolton said China should feel some pain too for its part: "I don't think we should forget we should make China feel pain here for giving Snowden asylum for a couple of days and then allowing him to escape to Moscow. I think the lesson Putin learned watching what we did not do to China is Putin could get away with it, too. So far, they are both right," Bolton said.

Source: Hadas Gold on Politico.com , Aug 8, 2013

"Nuclear zero" leaves US with dangerously low level of nukes

The Cold War paradigm is no longer an adequate basis for determining strategic-weapons levels or deployments. Obama's massive cuts in America's already tattered nuclear umbrella, with more to come, are far more compelling proof of a failed strategy than is his airy and diaphanous notion of "nuclear zero."

In fact, the entire theory of "nuclear zero" adherents is that reductions by nuclear powers such as the US will induce others to follow suit and will dissuade non-nuclear states from seeking that capacity in the first instance. There is, of course, absolutely no evidence that the rulers in Tehran and Pyongyang will do anything other than ramp up their own efforts in the face of American decline.

Obama's last nuclear-reduction pact, the 2011 New START Treaty with Russia, cut the US nuclear arsenal to dangerously low levels, 750 strategic delivery systems and 1,550 warheads. It passed the Senate by a vote of 71-26, but only after breaking a filibuster with 67 votes, not one to spare.

Source: AEI Scholars column: Treaty by decree , Aug 5, 2013

Publicizing US intelligence collection endangers lives

[NSA "WikiLeaks" leaker Edward] Snowden's second wave of leaks involved purported American cyber-intelligence activities globally and against China. Snowden claimed there were more than 61,000 US hacking operations globally, and implied the existence of numerous other activities to surveil and counter Beijing's growing cyber-warfare capabilities.

Publicizing America's alleged intelligence-collection programs against China may not be identical to Philip Agee revealing the identities of US clandestine operatives, thereby endangering their lives, but it is close. We do not yet know whether Snowden jeopardized US agents, but vital sources and methods of intelligence gathering and operations are clearly at risk. In cyber terms, this is akin to Benedict Arnold scheming to betray West Point's defenses to the British, thereby allowing them to seize a key American fortification, splitting the colonies geographically at a critical point during the American Revolution. The political implications are grave.

Source: AEI Scholars column: Snowden's leaks , Jun 18, 2013

Supports clandestine Proliferation Security Initiative

The US-led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) now has more than 90 participating countries working to stop the international trafficking of weapons and materials of mass destruction. PSI has no secretary-general, no bureaucracy, no headquarters, no endless diplomatic meetings. It simply focuses, often clandestinely, on working to prevent or interdict shipments of contraband material. As one British diplomat put it, "PSI is an activity, not an organization." In fact, PSI is precisely the kind of multilateral activity that protects our national security while respecting our sovereignty.
Source: Obama is Endangering our Sovereignty, by John Bolton, p. 20 , May 18, 2010

International Criminal Court second-guesses US self-defense

Although billed as a successor to the Nuremberg tribunals, the International Criminal Court (ICC), in fact, amounts to a giant opportunity to second-guess the US and the actions we take in self-defense. The ICC's enormous potential prosecutorial power awaits only the opportunity to expand almost without limit. The Clinton administration initially signed the ICC's founding document, the Time Statue, in June 1998, but there was no prospect that the Senate would ratify it. The Bush administration unsigned the treaty and entered into more than 100 bilateral agreements with countries to prevent our citizens from being delivered into the ICC's custody. To date, the ICC has proceeded slowly, partly in the hope of enticing the US to cooperate with it, and the Bush administration succumbed to it in its final years.
Source: Obama is Endangering our Sovereignty, by J. Bolton, p. 25-26 , May 18, 2010

Americanists know: national survival requires strong defense

Strong defenses are critical to national survival, so it is hardly surprising that opponents of unfettered US sovereignty strive endlessly to constrain our ability to act in self-defense. Limiting or transferring decisional authority on security issues to international bodies is thus a core divide between Americanists and globalists.
Source: Obama is Endangering our Sovereignty, by John Bolton, p. 18 , May 18, 2010

Mutual Assured Destruction: MAD is upside-down logic

A Bad Deal--the ABM Treaty--Travels to the Ash Heap: The arms control crowd believed that scrapping the ABM Treaty was heresy. Preventing Russia and the US from having national missile defenses was at the heart of "Mutual Assured Destruction" (MAD), Robert McNamara's 1960s strategy, and intended to dissuade the Soviets from initiating a nuclear exchange that would prove terminally destructive to both sides. In MAD's upside-down logic, defense was provocative: national missile defense would upset the strategic "balance of terror" and actually make nuclear war more likely. This arms control canon was reflected in the benediction that the ABM Treaty was "the cornerstone of international strategic stability."

Breaking out of this formulaic approach was necessary because it was both flawed in theory and no longer reflected strategic reality, if it ever had. I suggested that we replace the ABM Treaty with one barring Russia and the US from building missile defenses against first strikes.

Source: Surrender is Not an Option, by John Bolton, p. 54-56 , Nov 6, 2007

Increase defense spending to meet global responsibilities.

Bolton signed Project for the New American Century Statement of Principles

American defense policy is adrift. Conservatives have not fought for a defense budget that would maintain American security and advance American interests in the new century. We aim to change this.

We are living off the capital--both the military investments and the foreign policy achievements--built up by past administrations. Cuts in foreign affairs and defense spending, inattention to the tools of statecraft, and inconstant leadership are making it increasingly difficult to sustain American influence around the world. As a consequence, we are jeopardizing the nation's ability to meet present threats and to deal with potentially greater challenges that lie ahead.

We seem to have forgotten the essential elements of the Reagan Administration's success: a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges.

We need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;

Source: PNAC Principles 97-PNAC-HS on Jun 3, 1997

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