Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 16 October 2019

Beyond the headlines: How will John Bolton's departure affect US foreign policy?

Exit of Donald Trump's third national security adviser followed longstanding differences on key issues

President Donald Trump's parting of ways with John Bolton, his hawkish national security adviser, raises questions about what went wrong in their 17-month association and how this will affect US foreign policy.

The nature of the split was contentious, with Mr Trump saying he had fired his security adviser and Mr Bolton claiming that he tendered his resignation. Mr Trump later accused Mr Bolton of being a "disaster" on North Korea, with which he is seeking to reach a landmark denuclearisation deal, and "out of line" on Venezuela, where Nicolas Maduro remains in charge despite sustained US pressure.

But it is on Iran and Afghanistan that matters seem most likely to have come to a head. Mr Bolton was known to be opposed to Mr Trump's attempts to reach a peace deal with the Taliban, which was almost sealed before the president called it off, and to any attempt to soften the ongoing policy of "maximum pressure" on Iran.

On this week's episode of Beyond the Headlines, we speak to Douglas Silliman, former US ambassador to Iraq, and Joyce Karam, The National’s Washington correspondent, about what Bolton’s role was in the Trump administration and what his departure might bring.

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Read more:

Comment: John Bolton's exit shows Donald Trump remains his own man in US foreign policy matters

Donald Trump says peace talks with Taliban are 'dead'

North Korea says it will resume nuclear talks but conducts new rocket launches

Venezuela to recover output lost to sanctions by year-end, oil minister says

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If you missed last week's episode, listen here to find out what lies behind the raging fires in the Amazon, the implications for the environment, and what can be done to stop them.

Updated: September 13, 2019 01:41 PM

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