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Bolton Faces a Dangerous World

Walter Russell Mead

Welcome to the White House, Mr. Bolton. Not since the 1940s has a national security adviser faced an array of challenges this urgent, this numerous and this perplexing.

Five distinct threats will compete for John Bolton’s attention as he settles into Henry Kissinger’s old digs: First, North Korea’s drive toward nuclear weapons that threaten the U.S. has reached a critical juncture. Second, China’s militarization of the South China Sea coincides with a crisis in U.S.-China trade relations. Third, Russia’s efforts to disrupt the Western alliance system and re-establish itself as a major power in the Middle East have progressed to the point that not even Donald Trump can ignore them. Fourth, Iran’s push to consolidate its gains in Syria and Lebanon has alarmed and provoked Israel and its once-hostile Arab neighbors. Fifth, Islamist terrorism continues to lurk in the shadows, threatening to emerge at any moment and force Western governments to respond.

To read the full column on the Wall Street Journal website, click here.

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