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Former UN ambassador to speak on foreign policy to OU students
Talk of North Korea and hellfire missiles will enrage or entertain those in Walter Hall Monday night.
John Bolton, former United States ambassador to the U.N. under President George W. Bush, will speak about foreign and defense policy challenges the U.S. faces at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Walter Hall Rotunda.
The George Washington Forum and the OU chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society are jointly funding Bolton’s appearance at OU.
“I think it’s important people are aware that even though we’re focused internally … the threats and challenges to the U.S. have been growing around the world,” Bolton said in an interview with The Post. “(They include) the continuing proliferation of terrorism and (weapons of mass destruction), strategic long-term threats, as well.”
Robert Ingram, an OU history professor and director of the George Washington Forum, said he is excited for the event and expects a substantial response to Bolton’s appearance.
This is the third time the Alexander Hamilton Society has teamed up to help host the forums, said Evan Ecos, Student Senate treasurer and co-president of the society.
“We are extremely excited to be partnering with the George Washington Forum in bringing Bolton to campus this Monday,” Ecos said. “Bolton will have some very interesting thoughts and ideas to bring along.”
Bolton will also address the Obama administration’s policy concerning Israel, North Korea and drones in his speech.
“I really worry we’re going to get caught unawares again (like we did on 9/11),” Bolton said. “Our adversaries don’t go away when we don’t pay attention to them.”
Bolton said he believes Obama’s initial handling of the current crisis with North Korea was appropriate but added that he disapproves of the administration’s recent efforts to tone down the rhetoric.
“In effect, they’re now conforming American behavior to what the North Koreans want,” Bolton said. “This is the kind of weak, mixed signal that I think encourages North Korea.”
Citing terrorism as an action that doesn’t “fit within the criminal law paradigm,” Bolton said he believes the U.S. government has the right to use drones on its soil.
“In the first place, this is largely a non-issue,” Bolton said. “It is a hypothetical and the idea that we should be spending a lot of time on it is a mistake. (However), if the U.S. were confronted with a need to handle terrorists who were operating in the U.S., the use of drones would be entirely appropriate.”