05:11 GMT18 January 2021
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    Dr Tara McCormack, a lecturer in International Politics at the University of Leicester, has opined that the resignation of US National Security Advisor John Bolton does not mean that Washington's policies would drastically change "overnight."

    Sputnik: US President Donald Trump has announced he fired his hardline national security adviser, John Bolton, saying he disagreed "strongly" with him. How significant is this and what are the causes for this sudden departure?

    Tara McCormack: I think it is fairly significant given that John Bolton really was in an administration and general kind of political elite where Bolton stood out as a particularly enthusiastic warmonger. You know, he never saw a potential conflict that he didn't like or didn't want to escalate and so in that sense I think something to be very pleased about that Bolton has gone thankfully but I don't think that means that America will suddenly and drastically change overnight.

    Sputnik: Despite disagreements between John Bolton and the US president Bolton played an integral role in Trump’s administration. Who is likely to replace Bolton in the upcoming weeks and what kind of operator is Trump needing for his new national security adviser?

    Tara McCormack: Well, that's the really good question. There are several names on the table so it's really anyone's guess. One of the amusing and alarming things about the Trump administration is just kind of chaotic and unthoughtful appointment sacking seems to be. It's interesting that Bolton was taken on in the first place given one of the sort of consistent messages throughout Trump presidential campaign was that America needed to have elect to put it plainly aggressive, foreign policy. He argued against intervening in Syria, against starting a war with Iran and so on; yet he appointed Bolton the sort of man who would want to go to war on full front simultaneously as possible.

    It's very difficult to say because in many ways the way that the Trump administration has been very sort of ad hoc with appointments being made that don't necessarily seem to reflect some of the arguments Trump has made and vice versa. The question is why to appoint someone like Bolton and indeed Pompeo in the first place - who are notorious hawks. It's very difficult to tell it's unlikely that it'll be someone who's more hawkish than John Bolton because that wouldn't really be that possible.

    Sputnik: Looking to the future, what effect will Bolton's departure have on the US's 'maximum pressure' foreign policy especially countries like Iran?

    Tara McCormack: The assumption would be that with both and the support, we may see that Iran will go to the back burner a little bit - we certainly think that things will come down a little bit with Bolton's departure. Bolton, for example, we may see that also in Venezuela; Bolton was a prime mover behind the thankfully botched coup attempt in Venezuela.

    There's no doubt that we may see on some fronts a kind of easing of tension. To his credit, one thing that Trump hasn't done and I think maybe this was ultimately as well, part of Bolton's downfall was that Trump hasn't embarked, unlike his predecessors; Trump has not so far embarked on any major war. There is something maybe to Trump kind of pre precedential pledges that as president he would withdraw he would be against going to war. What Trump is kind of favoured what John Mathis called show strikes with reference to the bombing of Syria in April 2018 demonstrations of what we could do - for good or for ill.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of Tara McCormack and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    resignation, Trump administration, John Bolton, US
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