Someone call George Voinovich.
Talk about Bolton going off the deep end and being “mean,” Bolton hammered Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary unnecessarily and in a way that was sabotaging America’s primary interest of drumming up coalition support in Iraq.
One thing I will say is that John Bolton is a hard worker.
There are so many victims of his abuse, so many harrassed intelligence analysts, so many memos to Powell and others manipulated at Bolton’s direction, so many sabotaged foreign policy initiatives led by other of his colleagues in State, and so many foreign policy crusades — be they focused on North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Cuba, or Syria — that this Under Secretary was clearly working over time to let his mania out on all those he wanted to conquer.
Well, add some more victims to the list — but this time they weren’t people, just ALLIES who had boots on the ground with people dying as partners with America in post-war Iraq.
Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic were with us in Iraq — but were nonetheless subjected to withering criticism and disdain from John Bolton for not quickly signing on to Article 98 agreeements –protecting US forces from jurisdiction from the International Criminal Court while overseas.
As TWN understands it, Bolton sat on IMET (international military education and training) and FMF (foreign military financing) funding for Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republics (NATO members in 1999) and the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romainia and Slovenia — NATO members in 2004) and delayed assistance going forward for several months, which had a material impact on these countries while the U.S. received or was asking for their assistance in Iraq.
During his tenure as Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, Bolton sought to sign up countries to Article 98 agreeements — protecting US forces from jurisdiction from the ICC while overseas — and used strong arm tactics, seeking to deny countries assistance until they signed the Article 98 agreement.
In the case of the above named countries, Bolton sought to hold up this assistance despite the fact that all had some kind of waiver for a requirment for the Article 98 agreement.
NATO members are excempt from the requirement to sign an Article 98 agreement or said had been invited to join NATO or had recently joined and in any event the requirement was waived for them during the Iraq war.
The long and short of this is that these new NATO states were not required to sign the 98 Agreement in order to receive assistance.
This from a close observer:
But in a familiar patter Bolton argued that the above mentioned countries should be required to sign prior to receiving IMET or FMF funds. (The Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security has the delegated authority to sign off on such funds.)
Bolton was over ruled, or rolled on this, and was told to sign off on approval for the assistance. It was only months later that Department principals realized Bolton was still sitting on the paper work despite the decision to move the assistance forward.
Once this was discovered Bolton signed off.
Again, Bolton was disengenuous, a loose cannon — and not running consistently on the IMET/FMF commitments with Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic — which was at odds with explicit Bush administration policy.
Bolton epitomizes the kind of person who unites America’s enemies and divides our friends.
— Steve Clemons