France and Russia are allies with a common enemy.
It’s the Islamic State.
The two nations’ presidents — Francois Hollande and Vladimir Putin — have agreed to tighten their alliance in the shared fight against the monstrous terrorist cabal.
Wait, though, for critics of President Obama to weigh in. They’ll wonder aloud: Why isn’t Barack Obama in the lead?
What difference does it really make?
France and Russia have skin in this game. The Russians lost more than 200 of their citizens when a bomb exploded on a jetliner; ISIS took responsibility for the deed. Then came the Paris attacks that killed 130 victims; ISIS took responsibility for that deed, too.
Hollande and Putin agreed to share intelligence and to intensify their air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria. As the Associated Press reports: “We agreed on a very important issue: To strike the terrorists only, Daesh and the jihadi groups only, and not to strike the forces and the groups that are fighting against the terrorists,” Hollande said after the meeting, referring to IS by its Arabic acronym. “And we are going to exchange some information about that: what can be struck, and what must not be struck.”
Both countries employ significant military assets. Let us welcome them more fully into this fight.
As for the United States, there’s plenty of pressure being applied for our president to kick our own immense military establishment into an even more active role in the war against ISIS.
My bigger hope, though, is that President Obama is continuing to seek out more allied help — from the rest of the European Union and friendly Middle East countries that more than any other ought to want to destroy ISIS.
For now, I see nothing at all wrong with France and Russia locking arms in this mortal combat.