Trump replaces national security adviser in latest White House shake-up

New adviser John Bolton has previously advocated for the use of military force against Iran and North Korea

Trump replaces national security adviser in latest White House shake-up

File photo of General H.R. McMaster at a press briefing in the White House, 02-11-2017. Image: Yin Bogu/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

US President Donald Trump has appointed the country’s former ambassador to the UN as his national security adviser.

President Trump announced that he would be replacing former adviser General H.R. McMaster in a twitter post last night.

Praising General McMaster for doing what he called “an outstanding job” he said former UN ambassador John Bolton would take over on April 9th.

Mr Bolton, who becomes the third person to hold in the position since President Trump took office, has previously advocated for the use of military force against Iran and North Korea.

Military strength

In an interview following the announcement, he noted that the “US and the west” are currently facing a lot of threats and warned that, “if you want peace, prepare for war."

"I think we've seen proliferation, terrorism, strategic threats,” he told Sky News.

“So, despite the view of many people at the end of the Cold War that we'd come to the end of history, unfortunately we haven't.

"It's important for the US to protect its civilian population, protect its alliances, protect its economy, so there will be a lot of work to do."

When asked about the potential for more conflict, he replied: "I think that's something we want to avoid and I think the way the President has approached this, along the lines of Ronald Reagan of peace through strength, is important.

"And I think the surest way to avoid conflict is to have a strong military capability.

"As the ancient Romans used to say: Si vis pacem, para bellum - if you want peace, prepare for war."

Ambassador

Mr Bolton served as the US ambassador to the UN from 2005-2006 and as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security from 2001-2005.

In a statement, the White House described him as "one of the strongest voices and experts on the full range of national security issues and challenges facing the country."

President Trump announced the move on Twitter, saying: "I am very thankful for the service of General HR McMaster who has done an outstanding job and will always remain my friend."

Reshuffles

With Secretary of State Rex Tillerson being replaced by CIA boss Mike Pompeo, the national security team is increasingly staffed by those sharing the President's preference for exercising US power unilaterally.

Under former president George W Bush, Mr Bolton pushed the invasion of Iraq, which was later found to have been based on exaggerated intelligence.

More recently, Mr Bolton has been a media commentator and has pushed tough positions on North Korea and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which Mr Trump has criticised.

General McMaster was originally brought in as national security adviser to replace the disgraced Michael Flynn.

His departure is the latest in a long line that started with Mr Flynn but has also included chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon, economic adviser Gary Cohn - and Anthony Scaramucci, who lasted just days as White House communications manager.

Additional reporting from IRN ...