When George W. Bush signed the U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement in 2008, it included a deadline of Dec 31, 2011, before which “all the United States Forces shall withdraw from all Iraqi territory.”
The final pullout of advisers was resisted by the Obama administration but insisted on by Iraqi leaders as talks broke down.
Were we to ignore the sovereign rights of the government we helped create? Anti-Bashar Assad rebels in Syria were ill-trained, and what weaponry they had and gained was consistently being lost to the more violent Islamist extremists who were fighting them more than they were fighting the Syrian regime.
Supplying them arms would have been folly.
Bush and his seriously defective advisers pushed the U.S. into the Iraqi war under false pretenses and pitted Sunni against Shia.
This divide-and-conquer attitude was done to gain access to their oil, and stay in control.
Barack Obama’s pressure on Iraqi leaders to change leadership appears to have worked so far. Putting boots on the ground again at this time would be stupid.
An overly active air response will bankrupt us monetarily and morally, as well as create resentment for innocents killed. The president in these matters has been very pragmatic, and on the whole as effective as we can expect.