Bolton touts ‘grand strategy’ to counter Russia and China
Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton has urged Washington to implement a new Cold War-style strategy against Russia and China. According to the long-time foreign policy hawk, the West should cut back on social programs to fund military spending, renew testing of nuclear weapons, and provide security guarantees to Taiwan.
Bolton, who served in the administration of President Donald Trump, described his “grand-strategy” approach to geopolitics in a Wall Street Journal column on Wednesday, urging candidates in the 2024 US presidential election to think in the same terms.
The US should have a “contemporary reincarnation” of NSC-68, Bolton argued, referring to the document adopted under President Harry Truman which laid the foundation for militarizing the confrontation with the USSR. He also claimed that in a new Cold War, the US and its allies would be pitted against a Chinese-Russian “axis” and “accompanying rogue-state outriders like Iran and North Korea.”
Bolton named several key points for his proposed strategy, including an immediate increase in military spending to Reagan-era levels, which he claimed should be maintained for the foreseeable future. He also asserted that Western nations should cut back on social spending, because “neither the obese welfare state nor massive income-redistribution schemes protect us from foreign adversaries.”
In addition, Bolton insisted that the US should upgrade its nuclear stockpiles, which would mean “the inevitable need to resume some underground testing.”
Bolton’s plan also advocated the “improvement and expansion” of American military alliances, possibly by making NATO a global organization. This would help “exclude Moscow from regional influence, along with Beijing,” the former official claimed.
The self-governed Chinese island of Taiwan should receive “much more military aid” from Western nations, which should “embed Taipei into collective-defense structures,” Bolton suggested. The recommendation comes despite the Chinese government identifying Taiwanese separatism as a major ‘red line’ which may trigger military action if crossed.
Finally, Bolton urged Washington to prepare for what happens “after Ukraine wins its war with Russia.” He claimed that such an outcome could lead to Russia’s fragmentation, and warned that China would then seize some of its territories, providing it with “direct access to the Arctic, including even the Bering Strait, facing Alaska.”
Moscow has alleged that the conflict in Ukraine is part of a US proxy war against Russia, and that Washington’s goal is to partition the country. The Russian leadership has argued that this threat leaves it with no other option but to succeed in Ukraine.