As I write this the US/coalition attack on ISIS has begun in earnest. I hope that civilians can find shelter and that forcing attacking ISIS keep safe.
An air offensive has a precipitously steep decline in impact on a war: lots of juicy primary, secondary and tertiary targets, and then it’s a $500,000 device to kill three guys in a jeep.
That doesn’t mean this is the wrong thing to do: it means that this won’t stop ISIS. The only way to stop it is to stop the funding (not that the US has the guts to take on Qatar directly — there’s too much oil involved). And make it so a governing body wants to take care of its citizens, not kill them as meaningless ants, as the Assad regime has been doing for going on three years.
But to see this as the alpha and omega of destroying ISIS is a delusion: the really hard work comes after ISIS gets bombed into the stone age. Boots on the ground, bodies shipped back home. Whichever the country, this must end with a ground operation.