For John, BLUF: Smoke and mirrors and Hillary too. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Writing for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC, long time strategic thinker Anthony H. Cordesman (holder of the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at CSIS) gives us "More Special Forces For Iraq and Syria: Tactical Asset or Strategic Tokenism".
I think Mr Cordesman has put his finger on what is happening with our policy in the Middle East. We don't really take action, but make token moves that look like we are taking action. But, we aren't.
And, there are only so many special forces we can dispatch to the area. They are "special" because of who they are and their training. Eventually one runs out of special forces and is down to the regular forces. Then one either commits troops on the ground or one says the candle isn't worth the game or one engages in more strategic tokenism, hoping that time can be purchased cheaply. The President only needs to buy time until 20 January 2017, some 394 days and less than two hours hence. The rest of us will be hoping for time until this long war in the Middle East stops impacting us here at home (or in our vacation spots).
Regards — Cliff