While a founding member of NATO, France has not taken part in the NATO coalition against the Islamic State. Instead, it has chosen to press the attacks separately under its own command structure -- until today, that meant only in Iraq.
On Tuesday, French PM Manuel Valls told the French parliament that the world's powers are losing to the Islamic State, with them continuing to take and hold ground -- almost surrounding Aleppo, the second most important city in Syria.
France is in a precarious position in Syria, as the French foreign stance has been very anti-Assad. Helping attack the Islamic State in Syria is seen by many in France as de facto support of the Assad regime.
Russia has long had a military presence in Syria, with its only Mediterranean port in Tartus.
Russia has already lost several Cold War era intelligence posts to the Islamic State in Syria, but now seems to be intent on building its own airstrip in Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized that the Islamic State is voicing realistic threats against Mecca, Jerusalem, and Medina -- as well as Europe.
The spread of the Islamic State into Russia is a considerable worry, especially in heavily Islamic areas in southern Russia and neighboring previously Soviet states.
This also comes at a time when it has been leaked to the press that Russia apparently gave the Western powers a pledge to unseat the Assad regime in 2012 -- one that was declined.
Where is America At?
The United States built huge, worldwide coalitions during the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, but at this point doesn't seem to be able to build much of a coalition to fight the Islamic State.
This is partly because much of the world sees us as the cause of the Islamic State's creation and partly because many of our allies don't trust us following the NSA spying fallout.The bottom line is, neither America nor NATO is going to be the dominate force in the fight against the Islamic State.
But what happens when you get all of the world's armies in one place without coordination? Sounds like a recipe for disaster.
And while Israeli PM Netanyahu comes to America pressing our help in a potential problem in Iran, why aren't they helping with a real problem in their own backyard? Especially when they maintain the Islamic State is fully supported by Iran, it seems almost ironic that our own politicians have been played politically by a bait-and-switch.
Right now, America should expect more from the neighboring states that have vested interest in the fall of the Islamic State, be thankful that Europe is engaging at all, and be less critical of the Russians who have been in Syria since 1971.
That might be the starting place for a new coalition,but it doesn't seem like this is going to happen any time soon.