How Can US Stop ISIS Without Helping Assad and Iran?

Reacting to an appalling story about ISIS enslaving young women, Carter Wrenn asks why Obama won’t send in US troops to destroy ISIS, suggesting that he’s weak not to do so.

My response:

Good column, Mr. Wrenn. Quite disturbing stories.
But your solution seems overly simplistic. Certainly, the US could put thousands of troops on the ground in Iraq/Syria and destroy ISIS in a matter of weeks.
But what or who will fill the power vacuum? Do you propose the US fill the vacuum permanently? If, after destroying ISIS, we leave the region in short order, ISIS sympathizers could just regenerate and Syria and Iraq will not learn to solve their own problems.
It seems you want the US to serve as a nanny state for Syria and Iraq and you seem to have great faith in the power of US big government to solve international problems. And you call yourself a conservative?
If the United States destroys ISIS, it emboldens the tyrant Assad in Syria, his Iranian allies, and the Iranians/Shia in Iraq.
We are all morally outraged by what ISIS is doing. But it is not necessarily a sign of weakness on the part of the United States to stay out of this mess.
My guess is that if Syrian and Iraqi refugees continue to flood into Europe, there will be pressure on a coalition of nations, perhaps led by the US, to try to bring stability to the region. But how?
By toppling Assad and installing a puppet government or interim coalition government? Possibly. By dividing Iraq into three semi-autonomous regions, enforced by a UN peace-keeping force and American troops?
But would that really work? It’s unclear.
What is clear is that the American people have no stomach for sending a large contingent of soldiers back into the Middle East on a long-term basis. And the problems appear too complex, costly and intractable to solve with a short-term engagement. 

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