1. Statement
  2. U.S. Wars & Militarism

John Bolton’s appointment to the White House is Dangerous

By Jim Cason, March 23, 2018


FCNL is deeply disturbed by John Bolton’s appointment as the president’s national security adviser. FCNL opposed Mr. Bolton’s nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 2005 and we reject his policy prescriptions today.

At every turn, Mr. Bolton denigrates and dismisses institutional tools and norms of diplomatic statecraft and order that took decades to build and have greatly benefitted American national security interests. Time and again, Mr. Bolton’s maximalist demands and threats of war have failed to deliver, have left America’s allies divided, and have endangered our country and the world. For Mr. Bolton, diplomacy with Iran or North Korea is always and only a waste of time— from his 2015 call for bombing Iran to his 2018 argument for a war of choice with North Korea.

For John Bolton, nothing short of at least two more disastrous wars of regime change will do. There is seemingly no cost he is unwilling to ask Americans and their allies to pay in pursuit of his vision of global unilateral domination and impunity.

As a matter of faith, we at FCNL believe war is not the answer. As a matter of public policy, we are concerned that the president’s choice for National Security Council advisor has so openly embraced military action. While John Bolton’s appointment does not require Senate confirmation, senators can take advantage of the approval process for Mike Pompeo’s nomination as Secretary of State to question the direction of President Trump’s foreign policy.

Our Quaker community has been particularly concerned for centuries about government efforts to punish people because of the religion and, as such, we hope senators will examine closely Mike Pompeo’s sweeping statements about Islam and his dangerously misleading statements about Muslims. Secretary of State nominee Pompeo has echoed John Bolton’s demands for the U.S. to withdraw from the Iran deal, which has blocked that country’s pathways to a nuclear bomb.

Furthermore, the nomination of Gina Haspel to be director of central intelligence highlights the serious risks to our national security and our moral leadership around the world, given her direct involvement and oversight responsibilities of a CIA black site during a time when it was used for torturing at least one terrorism suspect.

Congress now has the opportunity to ensure that under the Constitution, only Congress can decide if and when the nation goes to war.

Jim Cason

  • Associate Executive Secretary for Strategic Advocacy

Jim Cason is responsible for directing the full range of FCNL’s strategic advocacy work. In this capacity, he works with program staff to develop long term change strategies that accomplish our particular legislative goals.