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
- Love locks tokens fall prey to renovations on Pittsburgh bridges
- Nearing 25 years together, WPXI anchors Johnson, Finnegan defy TV’s odds
- Bike lane work to affect Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh
- MLB notebook: Astros fire manager amid dismal season
- Steelers notebook: Polamalu made 1st-time captain; Roethlisberger named for offense
- NFL notebook: Rams leave Sam off practice squad
- Districts aim to win back students from cyber charters
- Surveillance video in Wal-Mart police killing sought
- East Allegheny teachers set to strike on Tuesday
- Trac Fabrication all-terrain wheelchairs open world for disabled
- Unlike years past, strength of 2014 Steelers could be offense