John Bolton is gone but some things never change

Former arms industry executive Charles Kupperman has stepped in as interim national security advisor, symbolizing the essential continuity in US foreign policy even in the age of Donald Trump

September 12, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
John Bolton is gone but some things never change
Charles Kupperman may be nominated as the national security advisor next week.

The firing or in his words ‘resignation’ of US national security advisor John Bolton may certainly be a source of relief for those who do not wish to see an apocalyptic war but his temporary replacement leaves much to be desired. The Trump administration announced on September 10 that Bolton’s deputy and weapons industry executive Charles Kupperman will be the interim national security advisor. There is speculation that he may be nominated as the NSA, the fourth person to occupy the post in the administration.

Trump said that the official replacement will be announced sometime next week and it is likely that the appointment will give an idea of the direction Trump’s erratic foreign policy will take in the year leading up to elections.

For now, Kupperman will be keeping the seat warm. Unsurprisingly, Kupperman is yet another representative of the military-industrial complex and is a sign of all that’s wrong with the US security establishment. Kupperman has been immersed in the far-right world of American politics for over four decades, working on issues such as national security, arms, and foreign policy. Kupperman held several high-level positions during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, including in the executive office of the president, in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and in the President’s general advisory committee on arms control and disarmament.

From 2001 to 2010, Kupperman was on the board of directors at the far-right, Islamophobic think tank, the Center for Security Policy, where Trump’s controversial senior counselor, Kellyanne Conway, also worked.

He has also held executive positions at both Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

If Kupperman is nominated for the position of National Security Advisor, it will once again demonstrate the essential continuity in US foreign policy and the enduring role of the military industrial complex. Donald Trump may have made it appear like US foreign policy revolves entirely around himself, and launched certain surprising initiatives such as the engagement with North Korea. However, as demonstrated by the Trump administration’s approach in West Asia and Latin America, the broad policy contours remain the same, with even some intensification of imperialist aggression. John Bolton may have gone but some things never change in US foreign policy.