THE BLOG
09/12/2014 10:56 am ET Updated Nov 12, 2014

A Very Special (Forces) President

Two weeks ago at a press conference, Barack Obama stated that he didn't have a strategy on how to deal with Isis, the Sunni extremist group in Syria. What this highly intelligent but at times guileless President could have said was that he was working on developing such strategy.

In a televised montage on September 10 that visually seemed akin to the "Grand Budapest Hotel", Barack Obama laid out clearly and crisply, though without passion, what he planned to do with Isis: destroy it, including attacking it in Syria; provide arms help to the anti-Islamist, anti-Assad forces in Syria including via a training base in Saudi Arabia; and develop a coalition of Western and Muslim states to combat Isis. The strategy is well underway, and Obama seems resolute. There will be no American conventional forces introduced but there will be Special Forces and allied specialized units. An Obama-style approach quite the opposite of the "massive retaliation" mindset of the early Cold War.

On the one hand, Isis has overreached and has opened itself to attacks because of its atrocities against Christians, Yazidis and Shiites in Iraq and, particularly as far as the U.S. is concerned, its horrible beheading of two innocent American journalists in Syria.

On the other hand, a lot of Sunnis are going to get killed as the Obama strategy is being carried out, and it remains to be seen how the Sunni Arab powers on the outside -- Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the Gulf states and Jordan -- as well as the Sunni populations on the inside in Syria and Iraq -- are going to tolerate it.