International public opinion was very surprised when President Donald Trump dismissed national security advisor, John Bolton. Even though there was the ideal relationship between Trump and Bolton, they shared a mutual dislike for the United Nations and they also shared being multilaterals although of the views that they had on foreign policy matters.
Based on how Trump’s statements were since May of 2018, just as his past national adviser, many Washington observers had realized that leaving the administration as it was had nothing to do about when or whether. The attempts of Bolton to force the United States into war with Iran as well as the refusal to accept the decision of Trump to communicate with the president of North Korea, the dislike of secret meetings with the Taliban at Camp David, and the failed policy in Venezuela. The only thing accelerating his dismissal from the administration was staying there.
Moroccan diplomacy, which Bolton did not trust and intensified his efforts to resist his attempts to maintain an intact conflict in Western Sahara, had to accept his departure with a sigh of relief. After working on the issue of Western Sahara in 1997–2004 as the personal envoy of the State Department and personal envoy of the secretary general, James Becker, Bolton should use his full political power to call on the Security Council to accelerate the urgent UN political process to force a final resolution of the conflict.
Pointing the Finger at Sahara Today
Since Bolton’s release in 2006 from the last official government position, he has pointed the blame at Morocco for not ending the conflict that is within published works. He also resisted the United Nations because he did not have the political will to impose a binding solution on all parties. Bolton regularly emphasized that the referendum would have to enable the Sahara to exercise its right to self-determination.
A recent analysis of the statements from Bolton based on this particular subject has suggested that he and James Baker did not end the conflict and that Bolton was bitter. Thus, he just used the presence as being a chairman of the National Security Council to help shape the political process outcome based on his own beliefs.
Bolton’s personal approach to the conflict deviates from the official position represented by successive US governments for twenty years in order to maintain a position of positive neutrality with tacit support for the Moroccan position. Bolton’s personal interest in Western Sahara has been striking since his appointment as National Security Advisor. His appointment coincided with the submission by the Secretary-General of the United Nations in April 2018 of his annual report on Western Sahara and the deliberations of the Security Council on the annual resolution of conflicts.
Bolton’s influence was reflected in Resolution 2414, which extended the MINURSO mandate by just six months, as opposed to the traditional annual period. The shortening of the MINURSO mandate was intended to put pressure on Morocco and the Polisario Front, to demonstrate goodwill and to develop a final and perhaps unorthodox solution to the conflict. Since April 2018, the Security Council has adopted three resolutions, most recently Resolution 2468, extending MINURSO’s mandate by six months. The shortening of the MINURSO mandate and US pressure on the parties to find a solution paved the way for two round tables in Geneva in December 2018. March 1, 2019. Under the auspices of former UN personal representative Horstohohler
Bolton’s Personal Decision
Bolton’s determination to personally monitor the conflict and formulate and accelerate its resolution was revealed in his December 2018 address to the Heritage Foundation. During the speech, he expressed frustration at the failure of the Security Council to deal with the conflict and MINURSO’s failure to hold a referendum on self-determination.
Bolton had also expressed to having a personal determination and commitment of the government in order to end what he ultimately sees as being a failure on the Security Council to find a more permanent solution for the Moroccan Sahara conflict. Bolton managed to surprise many when he mentioned a referendum and seemed to make stating a top priority. The media appearance of Bolton may have hinted that he was personally involved with this particular and that he did insist to putting the Security Council and parties under a lot of pressure. The speech came nearly a month after Algeria signed a deal with lobby firm Keene Consulting, which is owned by David Keene, who is a close friend of John Bolton.
These two events indicated that Bolton as well as Keene would start to work together to shape the outcome of the United Nations political process for the benefit of Algeria and the Polisario. Since Bolton’s appointment as National Security Advisor, I have called on Moroccan diplomacy to act swiftly and mobilize all of its forces, human resources and contacts in Washington to counter its plans and prevent it from affecting Morocco’s strategic interests and strategic relations with them Undermine USI suggested that one of the solutions available to Morocco for neutralizing Bolton was to get used to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, known for his affinity with Trump, part of the president’s inner circle, and less than friendly relations with Bolton entertains Despite Bolton’s political weight and strong personality, it was natural that he could not make foreign policy decisions on his own or impose on the US government. There are many actors in the US decision-making process, including the State Department, the Department of Defense, and the White House, which has the final say in decision-making.
A Positive Result for Morocco, Despite Challenges
An analysis of the outcome of the UN-led political process in Western Sahara during Bolton’s 17-month term shows that it was more positive for Morocco than many thoughts. Morocco has demonstrated skill and resilience in dealing with what the media call the “Bolton effect”. Despite the choice by the Security Council to shorten the MINURSO mandate, three resolutions adopted by the Security Council since April 2018 have enabled Morocco to achieve diplomatic successes, which it did not achieve in the years preceding 2018.
Morocco’s diplomatic progress is illustrated by resolutions 2414, 2440 and 2468, which all emphasize the need for “a realistic, workable and lasting political solution to the Western Sahara issue based on compromises. “These resolutions are the first in which the Security Council talks about the outcome of the political process and stresses that the parties must be realistic in order to find a practical and lasting solution. A new look at the Security Council means that there is no winner-loser solution, which was seen to be in line with the Western Sahara/Morocco position. Rabat has been known to state that his proposal of autonomy is a solution that protects the interests of all parties, including Polisario, while maintaining Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara.
Preamble to Resolution 2468 contains a new Moroccan language, namely an emphasis on the Security Council’s duty to assist the parties in reaching a fair, lasting and mutually acceptable compromise based political solution. Compared to previous resolutions, the phrase ‘based on compromises’ has been added to reiterate that the Security Council will not impose a non-compromise solution. What further emphasizes the approach of the Security Council is that it emphasized that the political solution would be based on the compromise contained three times in Resolution 2414, four times in Resolution 2440 and five times in Resolution 2468.The language in the new resolutions has not been used so often in all previous resolutions.
The expression ‘on a compromise basis’ was mentioned only once in all resolutions adopted since 2007, except for resolutions 1754 and 1783, which did not include it at all. In addition, Algeria and Morocco were mentioned in Resolutions 2440 and 2468.This is an unprecedented language change adopted by the Council since the beginning of the political process in 2007.Although the importance of Algeria’s participation in the political process was mentioned three times in Resolution 2440, five times mentioned in Resolution 2468.This indicates a gradual shift in the Security Council to recognize Algeria as a key party to the conflict.
This particular change is seen to be positively and matches the attitude of Morocco. It has been pushed to be seen as being the main party to the Moroccan conflict being Algeria. They also feel that if Algeria does not admit to this the dispute cannot be resolved unless this is done. Based on what has been said above, it can be safely said that Morocco has not only become a national security adviser despite Bolton’s term of office but has also achieved significant diplomatic achievements that he could not achieve in the past. One explanation would be that the increased contact with the United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo along with the United States Department of State has allowed Morocco to benefit greatly.
The political success that Morocco achieved during the term of Bolton within the United States government has suggested that Morocco has greatly benefited from the unfriendly and harsh relationship that is between Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton. In Washington, it is a secret that his personal dispute with Pompeo is so stubborn that they both communicated through mediators. Morocco could have used these circumstances to convince the US Secretary of State and senior state Department officials to maintain the traditional US position in the conflict and deter Bolton from seeking his beliefs and personal plans. Morocco also managed to convey its message to the White House, working with the son-in-law of President Trump and supreme consultant Jared Kushner. Kushner was twice in Morocco in 2019, during the visit he was received by King Muhammad VI.
It has been suggested that these particular visits to Morocco has provided President Trump with news of his son-in-law when it comes to diplomacy which has neutralized Bolton and has kept him from undermining the interests of Morocco and the Western Sahara or interfering with any American-Moroccan relationships.
The ultimate decision maker in the current US administration is President Trump, and if Morocco manages to get used to its closest associates, it will come a long way to end all opponents’ plans for efforts to maintain diplomatic achievements suppress sovereignty over Western Sahara.