But, he went on, "Syria cannot be a safe haven" for ISIS which is, as of this writing, something that is beguiling President Obama and his advisors.
ISIS gathered its forces and learned to fight in the Syrian civil war taking the battle to Bashir al Assad (as well as having been part of the insurgency in Iraq). Following ISIS into Syria might be seen by some as actually helping Assad under the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" theory of foreign policy.
But, it appears to me that we can take out our enemies sequentially - first ISIS and then Assad - and not violate the rule.
In a news conference in Estonia prior to attending the NATO summit in Wales the President said we would "degrade and destroy" ISIS. Tough words, but as the Washington Post's Katie Zazima wrote:
"Obama gave no clear details on how the United States planned to escalate its pressure on the group beyond the current wave of limited airstrikes and efforts to forge a stronger international coalition against the militants."
To that end, Brett McGurk, the deputy assistant Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran, told CNN over the weekend:
"We are putting the features in place, developing a broader regional coalition, a broad international coalition, working to get a new Iraqi government stood up, working to get our plans in place, so stay tuned."
Ok. We'll just wait.