Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton hasn’t decided whether he wants to run for president next year, but he has started a new group whose purpose will be to promote discussion about national security issues. The organization, named Decide America, is focused on influencing the debate in the 2012 presidential race that has been largely devoid of serious discussions of foreign affairs.
The launch of Decide America may be a sign Bolton is ditching the notion of what would undoubtedly be a futile run for the Republican presidential nomination. Bolton’s candidacy would be a major complication for this new non-profit group. While having a foreign policy expert on the stage at the GOP presidential debates would ensure that security issues get a hearing, it is to be hoped Bolton can have an impact even if he doesn’t run.
A terrible economy, concern about the administration’s vast expansion of the federal spending and entitlements via the stimulus and Obamacare and the debt ceiling crisis have combined to shift foreign policy to the sidelines of the presidential campaign so far. But with three wars and a looming crisis over Iran’s nuclear ambitions on the horizon, America can’t afford to ignore these perils when electing its next president. Even if he isn’t running, Republicans need to listen to John Bolton’s trenchant criticisms of Obama’s poor treatment of allies like Israel and his feckless and ill-considered policies on a host of issues. Decide America has its work cut out, but it’s a job that desperately needs to be done.