Tepid air war won’t defeat ISIS

The Americans and, particularly, President Barack Obama just aren’t serious about degrading and ultimately defeating ISIS, at least not if it means casualties on either side – the coalition side or the ISIS side.

Obama and his advisers seem to be in favour of defeating ISIS only if it can be done without loss of life or even much mess.

A little more than a week ago, ISIS fighters were amassing outside Kobani, Syria prior to their assault on that key border town near Turkey. American military commanders knew where they were and wanted to attack them while they were out in the open and vulnerable.

But the Obama White House demurred. The president and his staffers couldn’t bear the idea of front pages and newscasts around the world filled with images of dead and dismembered Islamists strewn across the Syrian desert.