Excellent analysis. Nobody here at least has bothered to answer the question - WHY does the US need to deal with ISIS - Why not those other countries?. Not one neo-con could summon up the courage to even offer up a poorly-spelled post on the matter.http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/08...
...And foreign policy is hardespecially now. Almost nobody gets even a small fraction of what they want out of it.
That said, the relentless criticism of Obama's approach toward ISIS strikes me as unusually shortsighted. As near as I can tell, he's handled it almost perfectly so far. If we had offered air support to destroy ISIS six months or a year ago, it probably would have made things worse. Iraq flatly wasn't able to provide the ground troops to complement an air campaign, and America would have shared in the inevitable fiasco. We also would have been explicitly bound to Nouri al-Maliki and his policies, which were the very ones responsible for the rise of ISIS in the first place. The outcome of all this would have been the worst of all possible worlds for American interests.
...Wait, why does the US, Britain and Australia have to shoulder the military burden of taking on a foe threatening multiple nations in the Middle East? Sure, Turkey has airbases. They also have airplanes240 F-16s and F4s. Turkey also has one of the larger armies in the region, nearly 300,000 strong. Islamic State a threat to them? Let them handle it.
And why has the US been arming the Gulf emirates to the teeth? Islamic State has no love for them, and wants their land for their "caliphate," so maybe they can deploy some of that hardware? The United Arab Emirates has 80 F-16s, 60 Mirage 2000, and an actual army. Oman has a smaller air force, but it has one. And an army. As does Qatar. And Bahrain. And Kuwait.
Then there is Saudi Arabia, with over 300 F-15s and over 100 Tornados. And with an army that is 150,000-strong, the ability to provide serious manpower to any anti-IS effort. For comparison's sake, Australia has 95 combat aircraft, total.
How about Jordan? With nearly 80 F-16s and over 100,000 soldiers in its well-regarded army, they'd be a serious force. And heck, Iran has a real problem with IS as well, so why not? Invite them to the party as well.
Point is, there are plenty of actors in the region with the capability to take care of the threat to their stability. Let the US provide drone and satellite surveillance. If some of these countries need help ferrying troops into Iraq, then sure, lug them around in our transport aircraft. Heck, chip in with some additional combat aircraft.
But the time to shoulder the weight of fighting other people's wars is over. Let someone else pay for these wars, and bleed for them, and suffer blowback for them. We've spent the last several decades arming these countries. Now let them take care of their own problems.
We can cheer them on from the sidelines.
Update: Egypt and UAE conducted air strikes in Libya a couple of days ago, so there you have it. Precedent. And here you have Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority declaring IS "enemy number one of Islam". So they should do something about that. They. Not us.
What have they done? They've come on here to bash Obama. That's all.