John Bolton's appointment further weakens the 'axis of adults' around Trump

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U.S. President Donald Trump's choice of John Bolton as national security adviser reflects an embrace of more hardline policies in the U.S., regarding his pronouncements, typically in the form of calls to bomb countries like Iran and North Korea.

The position has since been filled by generals and diplomats alike, some lauded and some not ― from Kissinger (who served Nixon and Gerald Ford), to Gen. Colin Powell (under Ronald Reagan), to Condoleezza Rice (the first woman), to Susan Rice (under Barack Obama), to former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's first pick who had the shortest tenure of any of them.

"I am very thankful for the service of General H R McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend".

Despite previously entertaining the idea of running for president, and even tossing up whether to put his name forward for secretary of state, Mr Bolton's entry into the White House looks likely to radically shake up Mr Trump's top foreign policy and national security team.

Bolton is much more hawkish than McMaster when it comes to foreign policy.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has recently been sacked and will soon be replaced by Central Intelligence Agency chief Mike Pompeo, a former Congressman who is also known for his hawkish stance toward China's aggression. And in South Korea and Japan, there are fears that Trump is preparing for war if talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, expected by May, fail to yield breakthroughs.

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Regarding Iran, Bolton told Fox News in January that Trump should dump the nuclear deal, re-impose economic sanctions on Tehran and work toward an overthrow of the government there.

H.R. McMaster, the outgoing national security adviser, was no dove on Pyongyang, repeatedly talking about military options to make it give up its nuclear weapons program.

As Mr. Bolton prepares to replace General McMaster, people briefed by the White House said, the president has told Mr. Bolton that he needs to cut down on leaks, like the disclosure this week that Mr. Trump disregarded his briefing materials in a call with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russian Federation.

A second former White House official was more blunt: "Everyone who was there during Obama years should start packing their s**t".

On Russia he also holds a largely aggressive stance, unlike Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

In Bolton Trump has chosen a frequently combative personality who fits more with his style, but it's not clear how the White House staff will react to their new boss.

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The US has yet to present the long-awaited Trump peace plan amid deep anger from the Palestinians over Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Yet officials said the president still has genuine respect for McMaster. Bush eventually sent Bolton to the United Nations through a recess appointment later that year.

Pressure group Human Rights Watch has denounced Pompeo as a defender of torture and discrimination against Muslims and homosexuals and wrote to urge the Senate to reject his appointment.

Tension between Trump and McMaster had grown increasingly public. But as President Donald Trump's incoming national security adviser, Bolton's warped worldview could shape US policy.

The newly formed doublet may have caused shockwaves among many, but what do these appointments mean for U.S. -Asia Policy- particularly on the China, India and Pakistan front? McMaster 'will always remain my friend, ' the United States president tweeted.

The military strategist, who joined the administration in February 2017, has struggled to navigate a tumultuous White House.

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Bolton is also well known for his strong support of Taiwan, which he has visited frequently.

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