Pro and con: Should President Barack Obama move quickly and decisively to annihilate the Islamic State?

Yes: Best choice is to put boots on the ground

President Obama has no choice now. If he wants to defeat the Islamic State, he’ll have to become a real war leader. He may not like it, but putting troops on the ground is the surest way to win this war.

No: Improve image in lieu of using troops

The problem is that a military effort to eradicate the Islamic State is not likely to work. President Barack Obama understands that if he were to proclaim a goal of definitively eradicating the Islamic State in the short term, he would fail and would have to eat his words.

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Tom Philpott