Why is the U.S. Getting Involved in the Nigerian Schoolgirl Kidnapping Case?


Hashtag activism may feel good, but trending Twitter topics should not substitute for thoughtful foreign policy, especially involving interventions that involve members of the U.S. military.

From my latest column at Time:

"It's a heartbreaking situation, outrageous situation," said President Barack Obama, referring to the kidnapping of more than 250 schoolgirls in Nigeria by the radical terrorist group Boko Haram.

That's absolutely true, but why in the world is Obama directly involving the U.S.—"we've already sent…a combination of military, law enforcement, and other agencies"–in the search for the girls, who are reportedly being sold into slavery?

The goal of our foreign policy, and especially interventions involving soldiers, should always be tightly tied to protecting American lives, interests and property. If the past dozen years and actions of the two most recent presidents should have taught us anything, it's that the U.S. is not particularly adept at solving its own domestic problems, much less those in faraway lands….

Involving ourselves in Nigeria will create yet one more distraction for a government that hasn't figured out how to deal with far more consequential situations involving Iran, Syria, Ukraine, Russia and Venezuela, not to mention myriad domestic problems.

Read the whole thing.

Your thoughts?