Alliance could do enormous harm to US

Leaders of both France and Russia want a military alliance against Islamic State terrorists. But thus far, it appears air strikes against IS targets in Syria by those two nations and U.S. warplanes have not been coordinated.

France sent in attacking aircraft after terrorists massacred 129 people in Paris. Russian attacks were stepped up once it was determined a bomb, possibly planted by an IS operative, downed one of that nation’s airliners, killing 224 people.

Leaders – and the people – of both countries are very, very angry about Islamic terrorists. Many Americans are, too.

Still, President Barack Obama – incredibly, insisting the IS and its terrorist cousin, al-Qaida, are being defeated – has resisted calls for unified action.

Undoubtedly, other countries would join such an alliance if asked. Great Britain, Germany and Belgium come to mind.

Air strikes alone cannot defeat the terrorists, of course. But a more effective air campaign than any one nation can mount could do enormous harm to the IS.

Why Obama will not work with such an alliance is puzzling. No one is suggesting old foes such as Russia and the United States become buddies. That will not happen.

But what could happen is a more effective air assault against the terrorists. Why will Obama not allow that?