Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton fears America's 'decline in the world'
Warning of danger lurking in nearly every corner of the world, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton offered a grim view on Friday of foreign relations in a speech at the Duquesne Club, Downtown.
An increasingly "belligerent" China, the authoritarian Vladimir Putin in Russia, a stumbling ballistic missile program in North Korea and an Iranian nuclear program threaten U.S. interests, Bolton told about 90 people attending the $50-a-plate luncheon in the Walnut Room sponsored by St. Vincent College and the America's Future Foundation, a conservative/libertarian advocacy group.
As China builds a deep-water navy and anti-ship ballistic missiles to increase its reach in Southeast Asia, "our response over the last eight years has been to say to China: 'Won't you please allow your currency to appreciate,' " Bolton said. Trade experts agree that China keeps its currency artificially low, which makes its exports cheaper and undercuts other countries' industries.
Bolton said upcoming negotiations over Iran's nuclear program aren't likely to do any good. The talks scheduled to begin on Wednesday in Baghdad will include Iran, and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China -- plus Germany.
Bolton told the Tribune-Review on Monday that he would prefer going to war with Iran, which he considers the only way to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. If Iran gets nuclear weapons even though the past two American presidents vowed to prevent it, anti-American groups in the region will see it as the United States being "either unable or unwilling to stop it."
Bolton, a foreign policy advisor to presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, criticized President Obama for withdrawing combat troops from Iraq at the end of 2011, though the withdrawal timeline was negotiated with the Iraqi government in 2008, and agreed to by Bolton's former boss, President George W. Bush.
The agreement required U.S. combat troops to leave the country by Dec. 31. The last troops left two weeks earlier.
"It is a picture of American decline in the world," Bolton said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- PennDOT team decides what spells trouble on vehicle license plates
- Pirates get journeyman Ishikawa off waivers; outfielder Marte injured
- Alvarez homer triggers winning outburst for Pirates
- Woman shot at Kennywood Park in ‘freak accident’
- Film shares tale of Pittsburgh man who turned disability into career
- Apple Hill Playhouse takes on an updated ‘Snow White’
- Westmoreland County on pace to surpass record for drug-related fatalities
- Man charged with passing counterfeit bills at Rivers Casino
- Don’t remove history’s lessons
- McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
- Bookings for August Wilson Center climb, but permanent board yet to be set