President Obama’s equivocation on matters of national interest and security – such as his lukewarm response to WikiLeaks release of classified documents – are creating instability around the globe and might be encouraging U.S. enemies to push their own agendas, including violence, according to former Ambassador John Bolton.
In a series of recent interviews, including with WND, Bolton said he has a high level of concern that “America’s adversaries will take the measure of our equivocation on world events and question whether or not we are willing to protect our allies.”
“The weak pace and scope in challenging our adversaries will incentivize them to increasing bad acts,” he warned.
Consequently, according to Bolton, America’s allies also might be in the crosshairs.
“The president,” Bolton elaborated in a report in the London Guardian, “unlike the long line of his predecessors since Franklin Roosevelt, simply does not put national security at the center of his political priorities.
“Thus, Europeans who welcomed Obama to the Oval Office should reflect on his Warren Harding-like interest in foreign policy. Europeans who believe they will never again face real security threats to their comfortable lifestyle should realize that if by chance one occurs during this administration, the president will be otherwise occupied.”
Bolton, ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, now is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Foreign Policy Research in Washington.
The interview with WND came shortly after Bolton warned in the Guardian that Obama “is a bigger danger than WikiLeaks.” He argued that the disclosure of purloined previously secret documents on the website is secondary to the dangers presented by the president himself.
He said the real problem is not the release of documents but “the failing Obama administration, which ignores the nature and extent of threats we face, and which is too often unwilling to act to thwart them.”
Bolton cites the issues that should be alarming to the U.S. and its allies:
- Obama’s refusal to acknowledge the level of danger from the threats facing the U.S.;
- Obama does not put national security at the center of his political priorities;
- The “weak” response to the leak of classified documents by WikiLeaks;
- The Obama administration’s unwillingness to defend U.S. interests;
- The sentiment from White House press secretary Robert Gibbs that the White House is “not scared of one guy with one keyboard and a laptop.”
On WikiLeaks, Bolton told the Guardian, the best response would be to “prosecute everyone associated with these leaks to the fullest extent of U.S. law.”
He said if the U.S. had acted after the first documents were released by WikiLeaks, the latest release probably would not have occurred, and “lives and critical interests would have been protected.”
He told WND the world is becoming less safe.
“Obama is viewed as being incompetent and negligent on a range of challenges in the eyes of the international community. This creates an inherent sense of instability worldwide and a lack of trust from our allies around the world,” he said.
Bolton said his belief is that Obama is trying to be like Franklin Delano Roosevelt but has been unsuccessful.
“He aspires to be, but so far in his term FDR had accomplished much more than Obama. For example, the tax package was rejected by the votes in the midterm elections in November 2010. Furthermore, Obama’s temperament, unlike FDR’s, is very contentious and not given over to compromise,” Bolton said.
He said Obama is focusing on what he wants: to remake the U.S. economy into something heavily influenced by socialism and doesn’t directly address “threats” to America.
Bolton also addressed the issue of the United Nations and suggested that the U.S. should withhold its funding from the international organization. He said the support for the U.N. should be voluntary, and there must be results.
He cited as an example the group’s Human Rights Council, which includes terror states like Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba and China. Such political players should be defunded, he said.
But he would like to keep the U.N. close by.
“It is advantageous to keep the U.N. here in New York City to keep an eye of them,” he said.
In a recent AEI report, he wrote that the recent riots in Athens, London and Rome are part of the evidence of instability.
“U.S. government officials argue that we must not permit any EU country to default on its obligations because of the interconnectedness of international financial markets,” Bolton said. “But if no one is allowed to fail, both businesses and nation-states will be less careful and responsible in their decision making.”
On the issue of the new nuclear arms treaty pushed hard by the Obama administration, he warned there is little public support for it.
He wrote that once people realize its provisions, “they will be acutely interested in its detrimental impact on U.S. national security.”
“Of course, once the treaty is ratified, it will be too late.”
He said one option for repairing some of the damage would be his own bid for the presidential nomination in 2012.
He said he has “given very serious consideration to this question because our current president and many presidential hopefuls either ignore or are ignorant of foreign policy and national defense matters.”
He said a decision will be made sometime in the coming months.