Henry Farrell: Damaged Goods


Mark Goldberg suggests below that Bolton poses a serious threat to US security interests, because he’s likely to pursue his own agenda with regard to Iran and other issues. That’s a safe prediction given Bolton’s past record, but even if Bolton were suddenly and unexpectedly to turn over a new leaf, he’d still be a lousy representative for US national interests. As Ray Takeyh says in today’s Financial Times, if there’s a UN confrontation over Iran’s nuclear programme, “[t]he American case will be represented by a non-confirmed ambassador who has been accused of distorting intelligence on proliferation issues.” Given Bolton’s past history of disregard for the facts in pursuit of personal vendettas and his role as a minor player in the yellowcake scam, he’s simply not going to have any credibility when he sets out the US position on non-proliferation. It’s a mark of the fundamental lack of seriousness of the Bush administration’s approach to non-proliferation and to the UN that Bolton, rather than any one of a variety of smart, tough, credible Republicans, was chosen for this job.
Henry Farrell