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What’s most frightening about National Security Adviser John Bolton

Bolton’s long history of dangerous foreign policy behavior, explained in a podcast.

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What should you know about new National Security Adviser John Bolton? Well, for starters, “He is maybe the most hawkish man in America,” explains Vox’s Zack Beauchamp. “He LOVES war. Whenever there’s a problem, you can count on John Bolton proposing war as a solution for it.”

Bolton came to prominence during the George W. Bush administration when he was hired as the undersecretary of state in charge of arms control — managing US diplomacy surrounding weapons of mass destruction and other weapons issues. He developed a reputation as a bully with a general disdain for diplomacy and a habit of twisting intelligence and would later be rejected by a Republican-controlled Congress for US ambassadorship to the United Nations. He was that bad.

Unfortunately, all of that likely foreshadows what his behavior will be as national security adviser. “Every [foreign policy] crisis has a higher risk of escalating than it did before,” Beauchamp tells Sean Rameswaram on the latest episode of Today, Explained. “Bolton really believes in war, he’s a huge asshole to a lot of the people around him, but he’s smart.” And he’ll use that to his advantage.

Learn more about what Bolton’s appointment means for the United States on the latest episode of Today, Explained:

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You can get the news we’re reading throughout the day, facts and stats to make you smarter about the world, and behind-the-scenes photos on Twitter at @Today_Explained. You can follow Sean at @Rameswaram and Zack Beauchamp at @ZackBeauchamp.

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