NOT a Supporter of WMD Non-Proliferation
John Bolton had a "fascinating" diplomatic career as a US representative. One of the most memorable examples of his "diplomacy" was his leading role in ruining the 2001 UN initiative to ban the development of biological weapons. Under the pretext that inspections of suspected US weapons sites would compromise the country's national security (according to US claims, such weapons had already by that time not been in development for decades), he withdrew the US from participating in the planned agreement. Without US participation, the UN initiative ultimately failed.
Nor was he a supporter of the then head of Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) José Bustani, as he had him removed from the post in 2002. The motion of no-confidence followed Bustani's suggestion to send OPCW inspectors to Iraq, who, as we know today, would have found nothing and would have derailed the US' pretext for war in Iraq.
The motion passed, but came as no surprise as the US had announced that it would withdraw its funding to OPCW if it didn't. The US contribution amounted to over 20% of total dues to organization. The Administrative Tribunal of the International Labor Organization in Geneva later branded Bustani's ousting "unlawful" and that US meddling was an "unacceptable violation" of the rights of international civil servants.
US Leaving ICC Was "Happiest Moment" in His Career
After initially signing the Rome Statute in December 2000, the US began by signing upwards of 100 bilateral agreements with other countries to ensure that its citizens are immune to the International Criminal Court (ICC), contrary to what was stipulated by the statute. The legal farce ended when in 2002, the US officially withdrew from the ICC with John Bolton sending an official letter to the then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan informing him of the move. He later noted in his book "Surrender Is Not an Option" that it was the "happiest moment" of his career.
Has His Own Political Agenda and Defends It by Any Means
John Bolton, who was working as an undersecretary of state for 4 years beginning in 2001, always had his own political agenda and views on US foreign policy. What is unusual is that he utilizes any means necessary to push these views, even on his superiors. According to his colleagues, Bolton often withheld important information from then Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.
In 2003, he decided not to forward a memo on US losing support in the Security Council on the investigation of Iran's nuclear program and when he was asked directly on the matter, he claimed that such information could not be collected. His colleagues, who were interviewed by Washington Post in 2005, claimed that such acts were commonplace when a memo didn't coincide with his own political views. Another notable example happened right before the first European tour of Condoleezza Rice. She was left uninformed about the lack of support from European countries for the Bolton-supported initiative to oust the then head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei, whom Bolton considered to be "too soft" on Iran. After the incident, Bolton was largely left out of the key discussions on Iran.
Strong Critic of North Korea and Iran
In pushing his agenda, Bolton also often rushes to conclusions, being quick to accuse. When unverified evidence of Iran's uranium enrichment program surfaced in 2004, he immediately unleashed hell on the country, implying that it was "repeatedly lying to the IAEA," even before the official investigation was concluded. When the investigation reached its conclusion, it showed that elements of enriched uranium wound up in Iran with imported centrifuge parts. However, he has never ceased to be confident that the country is pursuing a nuclear weapons program.
What is even more disturbing in light of Trump's upcoming negotiations with Kim Jong-un is that Bolton has always been a strong advocate of extreme pressure on the North Korean regime. In his speech in 2003, he called then North Korean leader Kim Jong-il a "tyrannical dictator" and claimed that the lives of his people "is a hellish nightmare," derailing the long planned six-nation talks in Beijing. He also strictly opposed the idea of rewarding North Korea for dropping its nuclear program, effectively leaving the US without any carrot to go with its stick in talks with Kim Jong-il. Summed up, one can say that Bolton has a very "diplomatic" approach.
Strong Opponent of the UN and Former US Ambassador to It
Bolton's appointment as US ambassador almost sounded like a joke, as he is a known opponent of the international organization. He claimed that its existence is pointless, as the US can do its job.
"There is no United Nations. There is an international community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world, and that's the United States, when it suits our interests and when we can get others to go along," he once stated.
He also noted in a paper that the UN can be "a useful instrument in the conduct of American foreign policy." He served as ambassador for little over a year and refused the post when set to be reappointed.
Supporter of Iraq War and Other US Military Operations in Middle East
In 1998, John Bolton was among the signatories of the PNAC letter which was sent to US President Bill Clinton in 1998, advocating the removal of Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq by any means, including military force. It's no wonder that he was a strong advocate of the Iraq invasion, which was conducted under the pretext of possessing weapons of mass destruction — which was almost ruined by the OPCW's head, José Bustani, who had been conveniently ousted by the same John Bolton.
Even after the truth and the devastating consequences of the Iraq War were apparent, he continued to support the war, as well as other US military adventures in the region, including Libya and Syria. It makes Trump's pick for national security adviser even stranger, considering Trump branded the US decision to invade Iraq "the single worst decision ever made."
Endorses Iran-Based Marxist-Islamic Terrorist Organization
Bolton visited a conference of People's Mujahedin of Iran (also known as Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK) and delivered a speech of support. The group can be described as an armed Islamic group with Marxist leanings, which has long been on the list of designated terrorist groups both in the US and Europe (delisted in 2012 and 2009 respectively; still on the Iranian list) and is aimed at overthrowing the Ayatollah's government. Bolton advocated removing the group from the list of terrorist organization, supporting its legitimacy as part of the Iranian opposition.