The top ranking former British military official was head of the UK Defence Staff, and led ISAF forces in Afghanistan during his exceptional career. The Sunday Times reports his comments: "Ultimately you need a land army to achieve the objectives we’ve set ourselves — all air will do is destroy elements of Isis, it won’t achieve our strategic goal.
“The only way to defeat Isis is to take back land they are occupying which means a conventional military operation.
“The only way to do it effectively is to use western armies but I understand the political resistance.”I think everyone pretty much realizes that President Obama's policies are based almost entirely on political calculations – the actions of ISIS had outraged voters to the point that doing nothing was an impossibility; on the other hand, to reintroduce ground troops was equally impossible politically, since it would be an open admission that his previous policies were a failure. Cornered, he chose the 'safe' route of air strikes only (safe for him – not for the pilots).
That this will accomplish little or nothing is less important than that he will be perceived as acting, in the run-up to the election.