WASHINGTON:American media is rife with speculations over the future course of the US foreign policy in the aftermath of President Trump's new picks for the Secretary of State and National Security Adviser, who are known for their hawkish views on global issues such as Iran's nuclear deal and North Korea.
Within the span of two weeks, President Trump shuffled his cabinet's two top posts, bringing in former US ambassador to UN, John Bolton, to replace national security adviser Lt. Gen H.R. McMaster and CIA Director Mike Pompeo to take over from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
While both Tillerson and McMaster were seen moderating voices on issues like the Iranian nuclear deal, their replacements have publically criticized the 2015 accord with Tehran reached with the help of world's leading powers as well as US handling of the crisis on the Korean Peninsula.
Bolton and Pompeo's appointments come at a time when President Trump is preparing for a historic meeting with North Korea over its nuclear program. Media reports say that inclusion of the two in the cabinet would lead to more aggressive foreign policy by the United States.
Bolton's appointment this week has raised more eyebrows, who had in recent years advocated military actions and regime change in Iran, Syria and Libya.
In an opinion article published in the Washington Post, the author said Bolton's belief that whatever happens in the world happens because of something the US did or did not do "is a recipe for diplomatic delusion and military overreaching."
A report by the online news magazine - the POLITICO - quoted foreign policy foreign policy veteran as saying that Bolton's world view is as much "military first" as is "American First" - Trump's signature slogan as the President of the United States.
Bolton was seen as a champion of former US President George W. Bush's 2003 invasion of Iraq, who still defends the American decision which drew sharp criticism after revelations that Iraq never had weapons of mass destruction, a very reason that was cited to justify the Iraq invasion.
The choice, for some, is an odd one as President Trump had been a vocal critic of the Iraq invasion. During his presidential campaign, Trump vowed that the US would stop "racing to topple foreign regimes". On the other hand, Bolton is seen as a "military hawkish", who advocated a strong US policy against Iran as recent as January this year.
He has also taken a strong stand vis-a-vis dealing with North Korea.
"Given the gaps in US intelligence about North Korea, we should not wait until the very last minute. That would risk striking after the North has deliverable nuclear weapons , a much more dangerous situation," the POLITICO magazine quoted Bolton as writing for the conservative American Enterprise Institute.
"The staff shake-up reveals the president's frustration with members of his old team who encouraged him to back away from or delay key policy decisions, which he frequently makes based on gut instinct," a report by the The Hill magazine commented, in an obvious reference to his hawkish views on Iran's nuclear deal and North Korea. APP/AFP