I feel a personal connection to your OP.
Obviously, history is often 20/ 20.
And to be honest, Mufasa, I want to be wrong. Because the implications of me being wrong is that the Country and the World is in far better shape then I thought.
The problem is, is that recent history too often proves me right.
Just the whole Syrian 'red line' thing is proof.
What is the point of removing Assad's chemical weapons program if not to prevent Assad from using chemical weapons?
Our response or lack thereof did get rid of some bad nasty chemicals out of Syria which is a good thing. But in the end it did not achieve the desired results, because the Assad regime not only has continued to use chemical weapons on his people, but his cooperation with Russia has created a proxy war between Western forces and now Russia, China and Iran. So the stakes of anti-Assad action is drastically higher then it was at the time of the 'red line'.
It may very well come to a situation where we can dispose of ISIS, but Assad is going to stay put. Because now, to fight Assad is to fight Russia, where as that was not the case at the time of the red line. Russia supported Assad, but they did not have skin in the game at that time. Now they do.
History will indeed as always be the judge and I will take being wrong about this situition as a victory. I am not obsessed with being right. I just call things as I see them. And what I see in the situation of Syria as a colossal error and misreading calculation, from the JV team incident, to the red line to the worst humanitarian crisis since WW2.
Maybe decisive military action, wouldn't have changed much, depending on their commitment to it, regarding what has ultimately happened. On the other hand, it could have made all the difference.
Any question, regarding what a 'change in calculus' actually meant should be squashed by now. The first link I provided in the 'Iran' thread, proves beyond the shadow of a doubt the response was to be military. They had the targets and the entire military planned to strike Syria. Approximately 12 hours before it was launched, Obama pulled the plug. The 'calculus' was military action, beyond the shadow of any doubt based on the facts.
In short, Mufasa, I hope you are right and I am wrong. But I don't think I will be. And it's not because I want to be right.