TribLIVE

| Home


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton fears America's 'decline in the world'

Heidi Murrin | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Janet Kirk, a financial adviser with Morgan Stanley, greets Ambassador John Bolton at The Center for Political and Economic Thought and the America's Future Foundation luncheon at the Duquesne Club Friday, May 18, 2012. In rear is Brad Watson, a professor and co-director of the center at St. Vincent College.

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

Friday, May 18, 2012, 7:02 p.m.
 

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.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. PennDOT team decides what spells trouble on vehicle license plates
  2. Pirates get journeyman Ishikawa off waivers; outfielder Marte injured
  3. Alvarez homer triggers winning outburst for Pirates
  4. Woman shot at Kennywood Park in ‘freak accident’
  5. Film shares tale of Pittsburgh man who turned disability into career
  6. Apple Hill Playhouse takes on an updated ‘Snow White’
  7. Westmoreland County on pace to surpass record for drug-related fatalities
  8. Man charged with passing counterfeit bills at Rivers Casino
  9. Don’t remove history’s lessons
  10. McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
  11. Bookings for August Wilson Center climb, but permanent board yet to be set