Putin and Syria

So now Russia is allying with Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah to take the lead in defeating ISIS. The President's enemies hold him accountable for this development. If Putin could do it, why couldn't he?

Let's see, what could we do? Go it alone? Maybe we should send in tens of thousands of American combat troops. Sen. McCain would love that. I wouldn't.

What about our allies? The Europeans are silent. The Syrian opposition? Of Assad's opponents, it's always been hard to tell whose side is who; since the Syrian civil war started in 2011 the opposition has split dozens of different ways.How do we tell the good guys from the bad and ensure our arms go to the right ones?

Who else can help? Iraq is a mess, with a big military heavily armed by us, but which won't fight. The Kurds are effective fighters, but they are few. The Turks hate the Kurds and don't want to get involved on the same side. The enemy of my enemy is my enemy. What about the Arab countries? Little Jordan and Lebanon are overflowing with refuges from the Syrian war. The rest make various excuses.

The choice was easy for Putin: he wants to expand Russian influence and doesn't mind helping a bloody dictator. Also, he doesn't mind committing Russian soldiers, because it will give them experience for the invasion of the Baltic states.