Trump Fires John Bolton, Cancels Taliban Peace Talks

U.S. National security adviser John Bolton, attends a conference of more than 50 nations that largely support Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido in Lima, Peru, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019. Bolton says the U.S. will target anybody at home or abroad who supports the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with stiff financial sanctions. Bolton spoke a day after the Trump administration announced a new round of sweeping measures aimed at pressuring Maduro from office.
U.S. National security adviser John Bolton, attends a conference of more than 50 nations that largely support Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido in Lima, Peru, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019. Bolton says the U.S. will target anybody at home or abroad who supports the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with stiff financial sanctions. Bolton spoke a day after the Trump administration announced a new round of sweeping measures aimed at pressuring Maduro from office. Martin Mejia / AP Photo
U.S. National security adviser John Bolton, attends a conference of more than 50 nations that largely support Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido in Lima, Peru, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019. Bolton says the U.S. will target anybody at home or abroad who supports the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with stiff financial sanctions. Bolton spoke a day after the Trump administration announced a new round of sweeping measures aimed at pressuring Maduro from office.
U.S. National security adviser John Bolton, attends a conference of more than 50 nations that largely support Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido in Lima, Peru, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019. Bolton says the U.S. will target anybody at home or abroad who supports the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with stiff financial sanctions. Bolton spoke a day after the Trump administration announced a new round of sweeping measures aimed at pressuring Maduro from office. Martin Mejia / AP Photo

Trump Fires John Bolton, Cancels Taliban Peace Talks

President Trump announced via Twitter this morning that he had fired his national security adviser, John Bolton, over repeated policy disagreements. Bolton had been a consistent advocate for military action and against existing diplomatic frameworks, for example, arguing for a retaliatory military strike on Iran in response to the country’s downing of a U.S. drone in late June - a decision Trump almost took before backing off as planes were already in the air. The decision to fire Bolton follows Trump’s announcement yesterday that that peace talks with the Taliban were “over” in response to a suicide attack that claimed 12 lives in Kabul, including that of an American soldier.

With us to discuss what Bolton’s firing could foretell for U.S. national security and defense policy, as well as what the cancellation of Taliban peace talks could imply for the now 18-year-old war in Afghanistan, is staff writer at The Atlantic Uri Friedman.