Brooks: Bolton ‘Not a Complete Loon’ – But His Style ‘Dangerous’ Combined with ‘Temperamentally Unstable President’

On Friday’s “PBS NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks argued that incoming National Security Adviser John Bolton’s approach does increase the chances of military action in North Korea and Iran, and that while Bolton “just has a bellicose, old style,” combined with “a temperamentally unstable president, that’s a dangerous combination.”

Brooks said that the president should pick people who share his worldview, and Bolton does. Brooks continued, “He was famously thought of as a kiss-up, kick-down kind of guy. He was famously thought of as someone who did not look at issues honestly, look at intelligence honestly, but came with a highly ideological predisposition. I don’t think he’s the worst thing in the world. You know, he comes across a lot of issues in a way that I do think seriously increases the chance that we’ll have some military action in North Korea and Iran. But he’s not a complete loon. He just has a bellicose, old style, we need just to be more powerful than anybody else around, and we need to threaten that power all the time, which, when you take it — combine it with a temperamentally unstable president, that’s a dangerous combination.”

He later added, “I still think it’s far from a sure thing that it will be super bellicose, super militaristic. … I wouldn’t say we’re necessarily marching off to war. I do think Trump still — his instinct is, I don’t want to spend blood and treasure abroad. His constituency does not want to fight another war. I think he would be slow to want to commit troops anywhere, just by his instinct.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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