The problem posed by Islamic State will, sadly, not be dealt with quickly. The New York Times reports that John R. Allen, the retired US general coordinating the international coalition against IS, has warned that it will take up to a year before Iraqi forces are ready to try and re-take Mosul.
Given that IS is more firmly entrenched in Syria than Iraq, this suggests that defeating it there will take even longer. Indeed, the Syrian problem is compounded by the fact that there are not credible ground forces there to take the fight to IS.
Air strikes against IS are aimed more at disrupting its momentum and containing it than eliminating it. But last night’s grim events are a reminder that until it is destroyed completely, IS will continue to commit evil, nihilistic acts.