Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton said Thursday President Barack Obama’s apology for the accidental burning of Qurans in Afghanistan is not only a sign of weakness and a tacit admission of guilt, but combined with his calls for an early troop withdrawal from the volatile nation shows an utter lack of “strategic sense.”
“Well, I don’t think that any realistic observer could believe that an apology — and, indeed, not just one apology, but repeated apologies — by senior American officials indicates to the Afghans anything but weakness. It is an admission of guilt,” Bolton told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “And the whole way this has been conducted, I think has made the situation far worse.
“So, what it shows is that the strategic situation in Afghanistan remains very adverse to the United States and the risk of a Taliban takeover, as our forces withdraw, remains high and that’s Obama’s real mistake,” Bolton said. “Apologies? He apologizes to everybody — that’s not a critique. The real critique is that he has no strategic sense, no objectives to protect America from a return to the risk of terrorism from the Taliban.”
Bolton warned that the Obama administration’s strategy for an early withdrawal from Afghanistan also is foolhardy and “delusional.”
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“Under this administration, the goal is to withdraw as soon as possible — and I
think it’s foolish, really, delusional, to speculate about how we can improve things under an administration that is determined to stop combat operations as early as possible and determined to withdraw completely as soon as they can,” Bolton said. “What the real American strategic interest is — what a real president would be pursuing — is the same strategic objective we had since we overthrew the Taliban.
“And that’s to make sure they don’t return to power in the Afghanistan and they or like-minded radicals don’t gain power in Pakistan and gain control of that nuclear arsenal,” he continued. “Those strategic objectives remain valid regardless of this incident, Hamid Karzai, or much of the rest of what have goes on in that country.”
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