John Bolton, the recent recess appointee as ambassador to the United Nations, ends his new tell-all book, Surrender Is Not an Option , with a scathing review of the State Department and the foreign service, which he says lean Democratic and often operate independent of the White House.
"Unfortunately over the decades, a culture has emerged at the department that not only does not represent us as effectively as it could and should but has in many respects acquired a mind of its own," the conservative firebrand penned in a review copy. Over nine pages at the end of the book, Bolton describes multiple problems in diplomacy, leading off with politics.
"First, political opinion among State careerists is overwhelmingly Democratic and liberal," he pens. "They don't follow the policies simply because they don't want to, they don't believe in them, and—perhaps most important—they can get away with it."
Bolton also says the foreign service follows a European model of formulating foreign policy that listens less to politics and public leaders. And he slaps "presidential ineptitude" for poor appointments that let State careerists run the show. Beyond ideology, Bolton describes several other problems, such as "clientitis," in which diplomats advocate for the country or desks they are assigned to, and the phenomenon of "moral equivalency," in which diplomatic actions of two nations are wrongly equated.
"In its most poisonous version, as in the example of Iran, the United States is the cause for the overwhelming bulk of the world's problems. According to this narrative, we provoke the disreputable behavior of rogue states and other undesirables, who, left alone by us, would have remained friendly and docile."