Bolton Firing May Ease US Efforts To Topple Venezuelan Government - Ex-UK Envoy

Bolton Firing May Ease US Efforts to Topple Venezuelan Government - Ex-UK Envoy

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 11th September, 2019) US President Donald Trump's firing of National Security Adviser John Bolton may ease the pressure from Washington to topple the government of Venezuela and revive US attempts to seek deals with Iran and North Korea, former UK Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford told Sputnik.

On Tuesday, Trump said Bolton's services were no longer needed at the White House and asked him to resign.

"Bolton seemed fixated on bullying smaller countries more than on great power politics. His going may mean the US getting off Venezuela's case to some extent and the President being given his head to try harder for deals with Iran and North Korea," Ford said Tuesday.

Trump had also become disenchanted with Bolton's performance on the issues of Venezuela and Afghanistan, he pointed out.

"Apparently there were similar differences over Venezuela, where a Bolton-inspired quasi-coup fizzled out embarrassingly, and recently Afghanistan where Bolton's lack of a reverse gear once more put him on a collision course with the more war-averse President," the former diplomat said.

Ford noted that Bolton's departure came after reports of an increasing number of major policy disagreements between him and Trump.

"I believe Bolton's P45 [dismissal notice] was on Trump's desk from the moment Trump had to back down in his high noon moment with Iran following Iran's downing of a US drone," he commented.

In June, Trump said he stopped a retaliatory military action against Iran after it downed a US spy drone in what Tehran says was its airspace. The US president said Bolton was a "hawk" who would "take on the whole world at one time" if he had a chance.

Ford recalled Bolton's ultra-hawkish advice to confront Iran brought Trump to the edge of an almost certain fiasco back from which military advisers had to walk him back.

"There have been other policy disagreements of course, notably over withdrawal of US troops from Syria where Bolton's hawkish stance was at odds with the President's instinct to give the American people what they want: a rest from endless pointless middle East wars," he said.

Ford acknowledged it is very difficult to predict what Bolton's departure might mean.

"What will it mean? Not necessarily a great deal. While Bolton was a hawk's hawk, no-one in Washington normally comes even close to entering the field of candidates for high office in the security field unless they subscribe heart and soul to militarism and the dogma of US exceptionalism," he said.

However, some changes in policy including possible unexpected ones were possible, Ford conceded.

"At the very least we can say that [Bolton's] departure opens up some very interesting perspectives," he said.

Trump is also now more likely to seek to reduce both US troop levels and tensions within Syria, Ford said.

"The drawdown of US troops from Syria is more likely to continue, although there is unfinished business with Erdogan over creating a jointly patrolled so-called safe zone which will complicate things," he said.

Also, Bolton's departure might free Trump up to improve relations with Moscow, Ford noted.

"It could mean one less dragging anchor on relations with Russia," he said.

With Bolton's exit, Israel lost a fierce supporter at the president's right hand, but it still enjoys many other strong sources of influence in the White House, he continued.

However, Bolton's departure meant that dangers were receding that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who faces an imminent reelection challenge may be able to pull the United States into a conflict with Iran, Ford added.

"At most Netanyahu may have to put up with the idea that he is not going to get his desired US war with Iran," he said.

However, the US president is highly unpredictable and could yet confound both his friends and enemies by whom he chose to replace Bolton, Ford cautioned.

"Hey, this is Trump who never ceases to amaze. Might he turn to [Senator] Rand Paul, who recently tried to help him with Iran? That really would betoken a change of tack. Or will he, like son-in-law Jared Kushner when a senior adviser departs, appoint the coffee boy to replace him?" he asked.

Trump said he would name Bolton's replacement next week, while the White House announced that Bolton's deputy Charles Martin Kupperman would serve as interim national security adviser.

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