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9/03/2004

John Bolton and Arms Control

John Bolton's irrational hostility to verification of arms-control treaties continues unabated. The US is in the midst of negotiating a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT) that would halt the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, opposes verification measures in the treaty. According to the AP, experts in the field (from the Arms Control Association, CSIS, and ISIS) characterize this position as a "poison pill" that will kill the entire treaty.

More: here, here, here, and here.

According to Daniel Sneider of Knight Ridder, Bolton is a chief advocate of a hard line toward Iran:

But the administration is also fractured. The leak of secret documents on Iran by Pentagon officials to Israel reflects those battles. Hardliners, led by John Bolton, the undersecretary of state for arms control, argue that Iran must be isolated, not engaged. Bolton calls for the Bushehr reactor to be halted and is pressing to move now to the U.N.

Those circles advocate giving money and guns to Iranian opposition groups. Most Iranian experts believe such an attempt to impose regime change from the outside will fail. And any Iranian government, for reasons of national pride and aspirations for great power status, may want to possess nuclear weapons.
Bolton's hostility to arms control is long running and well known. Here's some background on Bolton's submarining the Biological Weapons convention.

Some conservatives want Bolton to replace Powell as Secretary of State in a second Bush administration.

 

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