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Profile: John R. Bolton

 
  

Positions that John R. Bolton has held:

  • US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control during the administration of George W. Bush


 

Quotes

 
  

Summary, October 2003

   John Bolton claimed that Greg Thielmann had “invited himself” to his daily staff meetings, while Thielmann had told Seymour Hersh he had been assigned the duty. Bolton explained: “This was my meeting with the four assistant secretaries who report to me, in preparation for the Secretary's 8:30 a.m. staff meeting. This was within my family of bureaus. There was no place for INR or anyone else—the Human Resources Bureau or the Office of Foreign Buildings.” [New Yorker, 10/20/03]

Associated Events


 

Relations

 
  

No related entities for this entity.


 

John R. Bolton actively participated in the following events:

 
  

January 26, 1998      Complete Iraq timeline

       The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), an influential neoconservative think tank, publishes a letter to President Clinton urging war against Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein because he is a “hazard” to “a significant portion of the world's supply of oil.” In a foretaste of what eventually happens, the letter calls for the US to go to war alone, attacks the United Nations, and says the US should not be “crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council.” The letter is signed by many who will later lead the 2003 Iraq war. 10 of the 18 signatories later join the Bush Administration, including (future) Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Assistant Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Undersecretaries of State John Bolton and Paula Dobriansky, presidential adviser for the Middle East Elliott Abrams, and Bush's special Iraq envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. [Sunday Herald, 3/16/03 Sources: January 26, 1998 Open Letter to Bill Clinton] Clinton does heavily bomb Iraq in late 1998, but the bombing doesn't last long and its long-term effect is the break off of United Nations weapons inspections. [New York Times, 3/22/03]
People and organizations involved: Richard Perle, William Schneider Jr., Elliott Abrams, Richard Armitage, Jeffrey T. Bergner, William Kristol, Donald Rumsfeld, Zalmay M. Khalilzad, Robert Kagan, Francis Fukuyama, Peter Rodman, Paula J. Dobriansky, John R. Bolton, Vin Weber, Paul Wolfowitz, James Woolsey, William J. Bennett, William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton, Robert B. Zoellick
          

February 19, 1998      Complete Iraq timeline

       The Committee for Peace and Security publishes an open letter to President Bill Clinton outlining a 9-point “comprehensive political and military strategy for bringing down Saddam and his regime.” The letter is signed by a litany of former US government officials known for their neoconservative viewpoints. Several of the signatories are also involved with the Project for the New American Century and had endorsed a similar letter published by that organization the previous month. [Committee For Peace and Security, 2/19/98; CNN, 2/20/98 Sources: February 19, 1998 Open Letter to Bill Clinton]
People and organizations involved: William Kristol, Robert Kagan, Douglas Feith, Elliott Abrams, Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen, Donald Rumsfeld, Dov Zakheim, Paul Wolfowitz, Joshua Muravchik, Robert A. Pastor, Martin Peretz, Roger Robinson, Peter Rodman, Robert C. McFarlane, Jarvis Lynch, Frederick L. Lewis, Bernard Lewis, Paula J. Dobriansky, William B. Clark, Fred C. Ikle, Sven F. Kraemer, David Wurmser, Zalmay M. Khalilzad, Frank Gaffney, Frank Carlucci, Max Singer, Richard Armitage, Richard V. Allen, Stephen Solarz, John R. Bolton, Gary Schmitt, Jeffrey T. Bergner, Stephen Bryen, Jeffrey Gedmin, Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Caspar Weinberger, Peter Rosenblatt, Leon Wienseltier, Richard Burt
          

Early 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       Shortly after Bush is inaugurated into office, Greg Thielmann, an analyst for the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), is appointed to serve as the intelligence liaison to John Bolton. But Thielmann's intelligence briefings do not support Bolton's assumptions about Iraq, and Thielmann is soon barred from attending the meetings. [New Yorker, 10/20/03 Sources: Greg Thielmann]
People and organizations involved: John R. Bolton, Greg Thielmann  Additional Info 
          

July 9, 2001      Treaties + UN

       In New York City, the United States—the world's largest exporter of arms—informs delegates at the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons that it opposes any effort to create broad worldwide controls on the sale of small arms. “We do not support measures that would constrain legal trade and legal manufacturing of small arms and light weapons,” John Bolton, US undersecretary of state for arms control and international security affairs, tells the international body. “The vast majority of arms transfers in the world are routine and not problematic. Each member state of the United Nations has the right to manufacture and export arms for purposes of national defense.” But UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette notes that small arms have been the preferred weapons in 46 of 49 major conflicts since 1990, which have resulted in some 4 million deaths, 80 percent of which were women and children. The hundreds of diplomats, gun-control activists and representatives attending the meeting hope to formulate a plan, that although not legally binding, will lead to the development of national systems to regulate arms brokers and exports. Many also support a plan that would require small arms manufacturers to mark the weapons they produce so their movements can be traced. [United States Department of State, 7/9/2001; CNN, 7/10/2001]
People and organizations involved: John R. Bolton
          

February 2002      US Military

       Referring to a 1978 US pledge not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states (see June 12, 1978), US Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton says in an interview with Arms Control Today, “We are just not into theoretical assertions that other administrations have made.” He explains: “We would do whatever is necessary to defend America's innocent civilian population.... The idea that fine theories of deterrence work against everybody ... has just been disproven by September 11.” [The Washington Times, 2/22/2002; Los Angeles Times, 3/10/2003] Just five years earlier, the Clinton administration had reaffirmed its commitment to the pledge (see April 11, 1995).
People and organizations involved: John R. Bolton
          

May 6, 2002      Treaties + UN

       The Bush administration effectively withdraws the US signature from the Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court (ICC). In a letter to Secretary-General of the UN Kofi Annan, US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton writes: “This is to inform you, in connection with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court adopted on July 17, 1998, that the United States does not intend to become a party to the treaty. Accordingly, the United States has no legal obligations arising from its signature on December 31, 2000. The United States requests that its intention not to become a party, as expressed in this letter, be reflected in the depositary's status lists relating to this treaty.” [New York Times, 5/7/2002; United Nations, n.d. Sources: Letter from US to UN, 5/6/2002] The Bush administration defends its action, contending that the treaty infringes on US sovereignty because under its provisions an international prosecutor answerable to no one could initiate politically motivated or frivolous suits against US troops, military officers or officials. [New York Times, 5/7/2002; BBC, 7/13/2002] Bolton's letter is also intended to relieve the United States of its obligations under the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. That agreement prohibits the signatories of international treaties from taking steps to undermine the treaties they sign, even if they have not ratified them. [New York Times, 5/7/2002]
People and organizations involved: Bush administration, Kofi Annan, John R. Bolton
          

June 2002      Treaties + UN

       The Bush administration submits a proposed resolution to the UN Security Council that would grant indefinite immunity from prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC) (see July 17, 1998) to all UN peacekeeping military personnel who are from nations that do not accept the court?s jurisdiction. The proposal appeals to Article 16 of the Rome Statute which stipulates that the UN Security Council can grant deferrals on a temporary, case-by-case basis for nationals accused of war crimes who are from countries not party to the treaty. The US recommends that this provision for conditional immunity be universally pre-applied to all cases involving US military personnel engaged in UN peacekeeping. Immunity would be granted for a period of 12 months—but automatically and unconditionally renewed every year. As such, US troops would effectively be exempt from the jurisdiction of the ICC since it would take a UN Security Council resolution to end the automatic renewals and since the US holds veto power in the council. [Boston Globe, 7/1/2002; Independent, 7/4/2002; New York Times, 7/11/2002; Boston Globe, 5/23/2002] The US proposal is backed by threats that the US will withdraw its troops from international peacekeeping missions, starting with Bosnia (see June 30, 2002), and block funds to those missions as well. [Boston Globe, 5/23/2002; Agence France Presse, 7/10/2002]
People and organizations involved: John R. Bolton, Kofi Annan, Bush administration
          

December 11, 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John R. Bolton meet with UN Security Council representatives to argue the Bush administration's case for tightening sanctions on Iraq. Several of the 38 changes that are favored by the Bush administration are aimed at preventing Iraq from acquiring new military equipment ? equipment that might be used in an attempt to defend itself in the event of a US and British invasion. Among such items are jammers to block satellite-positioning systems, ultra-wide-band radios and broadcast equipment. The US also wants to extend the import restrictions to several medicines that could be used as antidotes to chemical weapons agents, including atropine, pralidoxime and sodium nitrite. [New York Times, 12/12/02]
People and organizations involved: John R. Bolton
          

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