Know John Bolton the New US NSA who termed Pakistan as ‘Iran or North Korea on steroids’

On 23 March 2018, it started with a tweet by the former US Ambassador to UN, John Bolton. When John Bolton was appointed as the National Security Advisor in the Trump’s administration.

Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who is widely known for his hardline views, is set to become Trump’s new national security adviser, after his predecessor, H.R. McMaster resigned following reports of “irreparable” differences with the president and other key White House officials.

Pakistan: North Korea and Iran on Steroids

Conceding that the Taliban insurgency is gaining momentum, Bolton has argued that a more compelling reason for the U.S. staying the course in the Afghan war is to prevent radicals in neighbouring Pakistan from being emboldened.

During his talk last month, Bolton said radicals inside Pakistan “already controlled the military’s intelligence wing and are [an] increasing threat across the officer corps.” He went on to say that if Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal were to fall into the hands of the radicals, “you would have Iran on steroids right now.”

Pakistani officials have long rejected the notion that the country’s nuclear arsenal is at risk, even though the founder of the country’s nuclear weapons program, A.Q. Khan once sold the technology to Iran and other countries.

The former U.N. ambassador cautioned that the risk of Pakistan selling or transferring nuclear devices to terrorist groups would be a danger not only to India but also to the rest of the world. This view is likely to stir the long-standing view held by a section of Pakistan’s security establishment that the U.S. wants a permanent foothold in Afghanistan to secure Pakistan’s nuclear weapons in case of emergency.

Bolton went on to say that if Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal were to fall into the hands of the radicals, “you would have Iran and North Korea on steroids right now.” | Image: VOA

Bolton has called on Americans to be patient about the Afghan conflict, despite the war being “costly in terms of American lives.”

“There’s a lot of dissatisfaction with the Afghan performance over the years. We’re obviously in a difficulty in our relationship with Pakistan. It’s been a difficult relationship for a long time,” Bolton said in his speech at the Morgan school.

Taliban talks

Bolton is assuming the post of Trump’s national security adviser at a time when U.S. officials are attempting to persuade the Taliban to engage with the recent peace overtures by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Ghani has pledged the Taliban’s reintegration in Afghanistan’s political and administrative structures if they lay down the arms and willingly morph into a political party.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells recently told VOA she believed the Taliban were taking time to weigh the Afghan president’s peace offer. Wells expressed hope the Taliban would indicate their willingness to engage in negotiations over what she described as Ghani’s “forward-leaning approach” ahead of the Tashkent Peace Conference that opens Monday in Uzbekistan’s capital.

Delegates from the U.S., European Union, Turkey, China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other regional partners will participate in a two-day huddle in support of Ghani’s peace initiative. According to the latest reports, Taliban leaders have not contacted Uzbek authorities or other parties signalling their willingness to participate in the Tashkent conference.



Source: VOA, TOI

The Kootneeti Team - White House Watch

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