Bolton Tapped to Be Next U.N. Ambassador

No, not Michael:

Bolton Tapped to Be Next U.N. Ambassador (AP)

Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton, an outspoken arms control expert who rarely muffles his views in diplomatic nuance, is President Bush’s choice to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made the announcement Monday with Bolton at her side. “The president and I have asked John to do this work because he knows how to get things done,” Rice said at a State Department news conference. “He is a tough-minded diplomat, he has a strong record of success, and he has a proven track record of effective multilateralism.”

Bolton promised to work closely with members of Congress to advance Bush’s policies and said his record demonstrates “clear support for effective multilateral diplomacy.” “The United Nations affords us the opportunity to move our policies forward,” said Bolton, who acknowledged that in the past he has written critically about the world body.

Presidential spokesman Scott McClellan, while not mentioning Bolton by name, told reporters: “The person he (Bush) has selected to nominate to the position of ambassador to the United Nations is someone who shares the president’s strong commitment to making sure multilateral organizations are effective.” “This president believes it is important that the United Nations focuses on achieving results to make the world a safer place and a better place,” McClellan said.

Bolton has had a long and distinguished career, and is more than qualified for the post. He’s not particularly diplomatic for a diplomat, however:

In a measure of the partisan hackles Bolton has raised in the past, the Senate confirmed him to his current post by 57-43, with all the votes in opposition coming from Democrats. The vote was on May 8, 2001. North Korea was so incensed by his public denunciations of their nuclear weapons program that it refused to negotiate with him and he was removed from the U.S. delegation to the now-dormant talks.

But he’s a staunch believer in the Bush Doctrine:

An attorney, Bolton has been under secretary of state for arms control and international security since May 11, 2001 and earlier held a variety of high-level government jobs at the departments of Justice and State under Republican administrations. Bolton has been a sharp critic of autocratic regimes, such as the one in Pyongyang, and of many proposed international agreements.

On presumes confirmation will be a formality. The Senate has more Republicans now and I can’t imagine Bolton will be filibustered.

Other takes:

Bush to Nominate Bolton as U.N. Ambassador (WaPo)
Hawkish Bolton Nominated as U.N. Ambassador (Reuters)

FILED UNDER: United Nations
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.