President of the United States - Summary
The crisis in Zefra caught the White House off guard. This year (2020) is an election year and the President is running for re-election. So most of the recent focus by the staff has been on a campaign for a second term.
Now the situation in Zefra has developed, and the President's leadership in the international arena is being questioned. It would be nice if the problem of Zefra would just GO AWAY!
The US agreed to see a UN-supported coalition joint task force deploy to Zefra and Daloon to deal with things. To get agreement at the UN Security Council the US arranged a side agreement with China, that no US forces would be part of the coalition mission. The Russian economy is in tatters so Russia offered to abstain as long as this was framed as Vladimir Putin taking a role as "peacemaker". With the China-US side agreement, China was prepared to abstain as well, allowing the UN force to deploy.
The main military advisor to the National Command Authorities is the Commander of the South Asia and Pacific Command (SAPCOM). This is a geographic combatant command created from the southern part of what was PACOM (US Pacific Command). PACOM retains responsibility for mainland China, Taiwan, and everything north of the equator.
The US leadership has discussed various roles for the US.
There are many immigrants from Zefra now living as US citizens in Florida and California and the President's political advisors see these as key battleground states in the coming presidential election. These Zefran-Americans may hold a balance for what is shaping up as a very close election race.
The political advisors to the President are well aware of the fine balance between showing early success in Zefra and ensuring that lives of American service personnel are not risked needlessly.
Keep a lid on problems of Zefra
Deal firmly with any challenges to freedom of navigation and to US support to allies and friends, especially challenges from China
Demonstrate leadership in foreign policy
Criteria for Decision Making
Do what is best for America and for the American people.
Provide assistance to allies, to friendly nations, and to others... in that order.
Ensure re-election come November 2020.