War lite: Obama's limited Iraq goals

If there’s an Obama Doctrine in foreign policy, it begins with one rule: no more large-scale military intervention. But the rule comes with a major exception: terrorism.

Obama withdrew U.S. troops from Iraq, is withdrawing from Afghanistan, and has repeatedly rejected proposals for using military force against the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria.

But he has shown no such hesitance when it comes to striking terrorists who have a history of plotting attacks against U.S. citizens. He presided over a massive increase in the U.S. drone war against extremist groups in northwest Pakistan, a similar battle against extremists in Yemen and a smaller campaign in Somalia.

Now he and his aides are laying the groundwork for possible U.S. airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq — and, they say, in Syria as well.