Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Yet More On Bolton
In public, the controversy over John R. Bolton's nomination as United Nations ambassador has focused on his handling of personnel issues and his managerial skills. But the first big battle of President Bush's second term also reflects long-standing tensions among Republicans over the thrust of U.S. foreign policy.You have to read to the end to find out that Armitage (deputy to Powell) is rejecting the latest charge against Bolton - that he attempted to block military funding for new NATO members because they had not formally agreed to exempt US personnel from the authority of the ICC:
Allegations that Bolton has been abrasive have become a metaphor for the broader problem of the United States' image abroad, with Republicans who favor a less confrontational and unilateral approach seeing an opportunity to press their point of view. It is all the more striking at a time when the Bush administration, led by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, has tried to rebuild relations with allies in Europe and Asia.
One set of current and former officials said Bolton opposed providing the funding until the countries signed what were known as the Article 98 agreements, even after a decision had been made to grant the countries a waiver. A second group of officials, including a former Defense Department official, said Bolton fully complied and in the end approved the funds. They said the Pentagon put up the obstacles.There is also a strong implication that Powell's opposition is based on policy differences.