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  • Sarah Gale

John Bolton addresses PBA students about future national security concerns

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

John Bolton speaking later that evening in the DeSantis Family Chapel. (Photo courtesy: Sarah Gale)

Former Ambassador and National Security Advisor John Bolton delivered a speech on isolationism, arguing that isolationism is one of the U.S.’ biggest issues and a historically false idea that the country has embraced.

“From the beginning, we have pushed out into the world,” Bolton said.

On Jan. 19, at the foreign policy Q&A in the Warren Library, he emphasized the need for the U.S. to protect its interests abroad and abroad and to realize that diplomatic relations serve to carry out the nation's interests, not to act kindly.

Palm Beach Atlantic University freshman Eloise Judy attended the meeting and partially disagreed with Bolton's remarks. She appreciated his passion for explaining that the U.S. broadcasts its resources to foreign countries to secure information for itself, but also believes that the U.S. should care for its own people and security before helping others.

“I think part of that is true – and, I also believe that, as America, we must first care for our people and our security as a nation. But then we should be able to help other efforts outside,” Judy said.

During the Q&A session, Judy asked Bolton if he thought China owed the world repercussions for lack of transparency during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bolton responded that it was a complex subject and that there might be things the world never knows about the pandemic.

“I would have hoped he had been a little more specific with his answer,” Judy said.

Despite being unsatisfied with his answer, Judy appreciated his comments that the world deserves an explanation from China.

Freshman Jacob Friess, a fellow Cicero House member and double major in politics and pre-law, asked Bolton about Force Design 2030 and its potential to prepare the Marine Corps to deter or fight Chinese aggression.

Force Design 2030 is a plan for the Marine Corps to address current issues by modernizing one branch of the navy. According to the Corps, the new program will help prepare marines to outmaneuver future adversaries.

Bolton acknowledged the controversy surrounding the subject and said the Marine Corps has the right to worry about China and if it has sacrificed some of its capabilities.

Judy and Friess believe it is important for young people to be involved and knowledgeable about foreign affairs.

“This is our future we are stepping into, and we need to be aware of what is happening around us,” Judy said.

By Sarah Gale

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