Former US National Security Adviser John Bolton has rolled out an op-ed for 19FortyFive, suggesting his view on the mistakes and misjudgments made by the West concerning Russia and the “hegemonic agenda” Bolton believes is being pursued by the Kremlin.
According to the ex-Trump adviser, the West has “made two fundamental mistakes in the years since Russia’s new flag was first raised over the Kremlin”.
“In an understandable rush to add to NATO states escaping the defunct Warsaw Pact and resuming their rightful places in the West, America, in particular, failed to delineate where the expansion would end”, Bolton writes.
“One can debate where that endpoint should be, but by failing to decide the question explicitly, we created a ‘grey zone’ an ambiguity Russia is now exploiting. Today, we and grey-zone nations like Ukraine, are paying the price”.
Bolton went on to cool the ardor of the European Union, which, according to him, believes that the “relative post-1945 peace” in the region was due to the bloc rather than the NATO alliance.
“The EU did not win the Cold War, and its disproportionate role in dealing with Russia today hinders the West’s resolve”, the former national security adviser continues.
Blasting Russia’s move to demand security guarantees from NATO (particularly a pledge not to expand eastward and not to deploy offensive weapons in countries bordering Russia), Bolton, nevertheless, proceeds to say that “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin is outmaneuvering his Western counterparts” and offers his own plan of response to Russia.