His 2007 memoir lays out the incoming national-security adviser’s worldview.
For someone who has spent the better part of three decades in Washington, John Bolton remains remarkably unchanged since his days in the Reagan administration. He is as strident about much of the world and its intentions as he was in the 1980s. He still rails against multilateral institutions, global treaties, and diplomacy, which, in his view does not serve U.S. interests. It is these very qualities and views, which he shares regularly on Fox News, that made Bolton an obvious choice for the Trump administration. This week, despite advice against such a move from Republican foreign-policy experts, Trump named Bolton his third national-security adviser.
I read Bolton’s 2007 memoir, Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations, which chronicles his time in government and his battles against what he views as unwieldy U.S. and global bureaucracies. Many of the issues he worked on in the first and second Bush administrations—especially North Korea, Russia, and Iran—are yet again dominating the news, and Trump’s foreign-policy agenda. In his book, Bolton consistently advocated for policies that he believed were in the best interests of the United States—and his opposition to positions staked out by U.S. allies such as Britain, the European Union, and South Korea, could presage some of the positions he could stake out as Trump’s national security adviser. Here is some of what Bolton said about these issues.