Explained |

Bolton's Plan to Retaliate Against Russia for Cyberwarfare Makes Putin Meeting Seem More Unlikely

Politico documents Bolton's belief the U.S. should use digital warfare against Russia and entities as well, singling out Wikileaks as a good testing ground

new-hdc-logo
Haaretz
In this Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 file photo, Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill
John Bolton, now U.S. National Security Adviser and former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Feb. 24, 2017Credit: AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File
new-hdc-logo
Haaretz

The Kremlin boasted on Monday that U.S. President Donald Trumpsuggested the White House as the venue for a summit with Russia's Vladimir Putin when they discussed the idea of meeting in a telephone call last month, but Trump's new hire, John Bolton, may make that meeting increasing unlikely.

Since that call, on March 20, preparations for a possible summit have not progressed because of a diplomatic row, Kremlin aid Yuri Ushakov said. Trump's new national security adviser, Bolton, has long argued that the U.S. should begin retaliatory measures against Russia in the realm of cybersecurity.

“We need to create structures of deterrence in cyberspace, as we did with nuclear weapons, to prevent future Russian attacks or attacks by others who threaten our interests,” he said in a February op-ed in The Hill. “One way to do that is to engage in a retaliatory cyber campaign against Russia.”

Bolton, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, said something similar, “I’ll tell you this. I think we ought to retaliate for the Russia cyberattacks on our election process. I think the retaliation should not be proportionate.”

Politico points out, Bolton believes the U.S. should use digital warfare against entities as well, singling out Wikileaks as a good testing ground. “U.S. cyber warfare people should use WikiLeaks for target practice,” he said last year on Fox Business. “Take down their capabilities.”

Bolton and Trump's view on Syria are also likely to put them at odds.

Trump has told advisers he wants an early exit of U.S. troops from Syria, two senior administration officials said on Friday, a stance that may put him at odds with U.S. military officials who see the fight against Islamic State as nowhere near complete.

A National Security Council meeting is set for early next week to discuss the U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State in Syria, according to U.S. officials familiar with the plan. Bolton has long argued that U.S. intervention in the Middle East is the best and only way to combat terrorism.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Crowds at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, in April.

U.S. Official: West Bank Entry for Palestinian Americans Unrelated to Israeli Visa Waivers

Haaretz spoke with several people who said they had fled Ukraine, arrived in Israel,  and were asked to undergo DNA tests in order to establish paternity.

'My Jewish Grandmother Has a Number on Her Arm, Why Does Israel Greet Me This Way?'

FILE PHOTO: A Star of David hangs from a fence outside the dormant landmark Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood in 2021.

American Judaism Is in Decline. That's Great News for American Jews

People taking part in the annual "March of the Living" to commemorate the Holocaust, between the former death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland, four years ago.

It’s Not Just the Holocaust. Israel Is Failing to Teach the History of the Jews

 A Jewish cemetery in Warsaw, Poland.

Israel and Poland Fight Over History, Truth - and Israeli Students

A collage of the Bentwich family throughout the generations.

Unique Burial Plot in Jerusalem Tells Story of Extraordinary Jewish Dynasty