The Corner

Today’s Questions for the President

On Friday you announced that you’re sending approximately 100 U.S. troops as advisers to Uganda in the battle against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).  In doing so, you stated that sending the troops was in America’s national security interests.

Iran is on the verge of developing a nuclear weapon. It’s been reported that Iran is building missile bases in Venezuela and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stated that people should prepare for a world without the United States.

Iran has sponsored and facilitated hundreds of strikes against U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has taken American citizens hostage. Just a few days ago, an Iranian plan to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, D.C., was uncovered. Around the same time Iran announced that it’s deploying naval vessels to the maritime borders of the U.S. Neither the LRA, its leader Joseph Kony, nor any of his estimated 500–1000 fighters has taken similar actions against the United States

If the alleged threat to U.S. national security posed by the LRA merits the deployment of 100 American troops to Uganda, what response does the Iranian threat merit?

In all other conflicts around the globe, you have insisted on a multinational or U.N. response. Why isn’t the conflict in central Africa involving the LRA precisely the type of conflict better addressed by the U.N. or a coalition of African states?

What are your criteria for assessing threats to U.S. national security?