This is a strategic shell game. ISIS combatants in Iraq and Syria largely are the remnants of the same al-Qaeda forces once conquered and displaced by U.S. troops in Iraq. These operatives, far from vanquished, now have been emboldened to ravage the Levant and proclaim formation of a global terrorist "caliphate."
The new U.S. strategy for countering ISIS is a familiar one, recycled for 2015. It focuses on using small units of U.S. ground forces complemented by overwhelming American air cover. This approach duplicates the failed Kennedy-Johnson strategy in Vietnam (read here about "Obama's Vietnam"). Never before has the Obama administration's anti-ISIS plans been more plainly ad hoc, reactive and incoherent.