" So slow has Mr Obama been to act, however, that there is a worse danger: that Russia and Iran will be quite happy to see America sink to its neck, humiliated by ever closer association with the jihadists who are supposed to be its sworn enemy. This is the nature of asymmetrical warfare.
Could Mr Obama have acted any differently? Perhaps the world was still not ready after the George W. Bush years for America to take the lead in the Middle East. The terrible option can still be better than all the others.
But it remains the case that if you consciously lead from behind, as Mr Obama wants to do, you sometimes cannot see where you are going."