This has been a fool's mission from the very outset.
The idea that Obama would do for Syria what he previously did for Iraq, Libya and Egypt ought to make everyone shudder. His mistakes regarding foreign policy and the use of our military are coming back to haunt us in a critical way.
Now, we have the Turks shooting the Russians out of the sky, and the risk of wider war. Turkey's current inclusion in NATO is a mistake. Its leadership leans heavily toward the Islamist point of view; and the nation is therefore incompatible with western values. We don't need a war with Russia over the incident in Turkey, or over Syria.
This analysis over at Chronicles sheds ample light upon what Turkey is doing. It's not pretty. But another piece summarizes the interests and activities of the other major players. Such a complicated picture in the region does not lend well to an easy resolution.
Let's not think we can go in there, fix everything, and bail out within a couple of years. Let's not represent that we can adopt half-measures, and somehow put the region on more sound footing.
We need to be very attentive to the messages the GOP presidential candidates are sharing regarding this entire situation. The crisis that is developing in step-wise fashion is a real test of how they would handle the military and foreign policy. (Marco Rubio has already failed this test.) It is important to assess whether the candidates' objectives are reasonable; and if their plans are sufficient to attain these objectives on a long-term basis.