Military option futile

President Obama will probably take his top generals' advice and extend the deadline for withdrawal from Afghanistan. He and his circle were blindsided by the explosive rise of Islamic State after the long-planned exit from Iraq, although I don't see how a residual American force could have kept the lid on the boiling kettle of rage that marks the Sunni-Shiite divide. Certainly the Islamic State would still have exploited the power vacuum in much of Syria even if more U.S. troops were in Baghdad. And with the Taliban resurgent in Afghanistan, we can perhaps hope to keep Kabul as a haven for moderate Afghans, but more remote parts of the country seem destined to sink back into...