Bolton’s Notepad Says ‘5,000 Troops to Colombia’

Talk of US military intervention in Venezuela growing rapidly

Reports over the last few days of the Trump Administration gearing up for attacking Venezuela militarily are growing considerably. National Security Adviser John Bolton greatly added to that by brandishing a legal pad in front of reporters with the words “5,000 troops to Colombia” written on it.

This, combined with days of reports about military intervention, started immediate speculation that the US is preparing to station large numbers of troops in Colombia, on the border of Venezuela. Officials, including Bolton, made no attempt to discourage this idea, saying “all options are on the table.”

Fox News quoted “sources” who confirmed this actually is a plan under consideration, to pre-position troops ahead of a war. They did, however, say that no such move is “imminent.”

Though officials are trying to pass Bolton’s notepad off as a mistake, that seems difficult to believe. Bolton, after all, is among the most hawkish members of an administration that’s being very keen to engage in military intervention in Venezuela. This seems tailor-made as a trial balloon.

Indeed, over the course of the weekend administration officials were already making it clear that war is on the table to impose regime change in Venezuela. Bolton himself emphasized that there would be sanctions attempted first, but officials are so hawkish on Venezuela that even Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) expressed surprise at it.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.