If Bolton becomes dominant enough within the Trump administration, the only person he’ll have to convince to go to war with Iran will be Trump. From Barbara Boland at theamericanconservative.com:
The elevation of Patrick Shanahan to the secretary of defense position will likely make National Security Adviser John Bolton the most powerful voice inside President Donald Trump’s cabinet.
So say defense analysts who spoke to TAC this week. Former U.S. officials also said they fear that Shanahan’s relative lack of experience may set America on a path to war, and cited a New York Times report that Shanahan had delivered to Bolton a plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East. Subsequent reports indicate that the Pentagon might be making plans to send even more.
Shanahan is expected to be nominated for the top Pentagon slot, subject to Senate confirmation. And according to Stephen Wertheim, assistant professor of history at Columbia University, during the confirmation hearings, “when senators think Shanahan, they should think Bolton. Because a vacuum at the top of DoD means that the department becomes a rubber stamp for Bolton.”
Bolton is an unapologetic Bush-era war hawk with four decades of experience inside the Beltway. Throughout his long career, he’s advocated for regime change in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, and Iran. As national security adviser, he appears determined to consolidate his power in the Cabinet, usurping powers that traditionally reside with the military.