My first thought when I read that the president’s sending 50 special ops troops into Syria to train the non-ISIS rebels was “isn’t the whole idea of tiny units of special ops troops that nobody knows they are there?” So it’s unclear to me why a “senior administration official” would be leaking this potentially inflammatory development, unless she or he opposes it and wants to blow it up.

If so, I can understand the sentiment, though that’s probably because I have this simplistic idea that in a regional civil war the U.S. ought either to stay out or to pick one side and stick with it. Yes, I know we are supposed to hate ISIS and Assad/Iran equally, but the fact is that they are trying very hard to kill each other, and we do not seem to have figured out how to fight ISIS without helping Assad or Iran.

In any event, if this is all a very bad idea, slipping into it by small measures won’t help, especially if it’s all over the front page of the Washington Post.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.