John Bolton Interview: Keeping An Eye on China and Japan

Screen-Shot John Bolton CPAC Courtesy of BoltonPAC

Fmr. Ambassador John Bolton
speaking at this year’s CPAC.
Courtesy of BoltonPAC

John R. Bolton was appointed as United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations on August 1, 2005 and served until his resignation in December 2006. Prior to his appointment, Bolton served as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security from May 2001 to May 2005. Throughout his distinguished career, Bolton has been a staunch defender of American interests. Bolton currently serves as a foreign policy senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a contributor to FOX News Channel and his op-ed articles are regularly featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Washington Times. Recently, he led the forming of BoltonPAC which was founded to raise the importance of American national security in Federal elections.

Ambassador Bolton was kind enough to take time out his busy CPAC schedule to speak with The Williams View about a world hot-spot to keep an eye on in light of future Defense cuts…

Kevin Williams:  There is a lot of attention is of course going towards the Ukraine right now and every month there seems to be a new crisis… are there any foreign policy issues that the American people should be hearing more about?

John Bolton:  I think one that I would point to is China’s very assertive territorial claims in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.  Not today and not tomorrow, but soon [this] could result in conflict between China and Japan.  It could result in International Sea Lanes being made into Chinese Territorial Waters and this could have a huge impact on the American economy and our friends and allies like South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.  It is an issue that doesn’t get the attention that it deserves.

640px-China_Japan_Locator Public Domain WikipediaKevin Williams: Do you think that there might be a good chance of increased militarization of Japan?

John Bolton: Well, I think that Japan made a decision years back that it is now a normal nation again… and a normal nation engages in self-defense.  So I don’t see re-militarization a la the 1930s, but I see Japan assuming more of a role in self-defense. Which is a legitimate function for them to do and hopefully [one] that they will do in a responsible and democratic fashion.

Kevin Williams:  And how will the Defense cuts affect our military and political options in Asia?

John Bolton: I think that they will have a dramatically negative effect on both. Not just the cuts that [Secretary of Defense] Hagel announced last week, but the effect of five years of radical cuts by the Obama Administration since it took office.  The cumulative weight of those cuts is going to cause us enormous harm.  It will limit our military options and reduce our diplomatic punch. The best war is the war that is never fought. And the way that you avoid fighting wars is to have a sufficient deterrent capability so that adversaries say, “I’m not going to even think about.” The risk of conflict increases as our defense capabilities decline.

Kevin Williams:  So, less of a defense budget and less of an Army or Marine Corps that we have… the more likely we are to get into trouble?

402px-John_Bolton_by_Gage_Skidmore

Ambassador John Bolton
Photo Courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

John Bolton:  It means people are more likely to calculate that we won’t respond when in fact… if we do, we won’t be able to respond effectively. Which is the worst of all worlds.

Kevin Williams:  Do you think that these cuts can be of decades-long effect?

John Bolton:  Well, I think we can dig out of it. But the longer that it goes, obviously, the more difficult it will be.

© 2014 The Willams View

About the Author

Jennifer Williams - Politics and Entertainment Editor Jennifer Williams is a writer and interviewer based in the Eastern United States who has interviewed thought leaders and opinion makers such as Steve Forbes, Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Michael Steele, Christine Todd Whitman, Grover Norquist, Catherine Davis, Jim Gilmore, Stephen Baldwin, Rick Santorum, Kirk Cameron and the late Edward W. Brooke. Jennifer has directed and produced a number of media projects after working in a variety of production roles on films such as A BEAUTIFUL MIND, SIGNS, HACK, SURRENDER DOROTHY, LIKE MIKE, I.Q., and JERSEY GIRL. She and her producing partner are currently working on a political documentary due for release in 2017. Jennifer is the Entertainment & Politics Editor for Politisite and Executive Editor of The Williams View... as well as an alum of Tulane University, La Salle University and New York University.

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