More generational nonsense. The human experience has been going on for thousands of years. People are born every day not in twenty year batches. There is no conspiracy of people belonging to a "generation" conspiring to disenfranchise a subsequent "generation". These theoretical conflicts are media fictions. Things aren't going your way? Blame a "Boomer". Younger people coming in to your workplace? "They" don't work hard or respect authority like "we" do. Poor Russ Douthat. He keeps hoping, as most conservatives do, that the clock can be turned back to "those thrilling days of yesteryear". Change is hard but religious social conservatives like Douthat need to adjust and adapt, not blame "generations" that do not conform to their world view.
I think Obama is engaging in the best strategy for a difficult situation. The parrelles to Vietnam are tenous. His goal isn't to conquer or hold land or pile up as large a body count as possible, or even to persuade some population that they need to adhere to a given political philosophy, it is merely to make ISIS, as currently constituted, an untenable enterprise. Continuous bombing of vital infastructure, soldiers and sanctions are pretty good at that, because the fact is they can go on practically in perpetuity. The American public has very little tolerance for prolonged deployments or casualties; however, I don't think there is any evidence that the We have grown or will ever grow tired of Bombing Islamic terrorists. In so far as it is reasonable to portray them as such. WIth the Obama doctrine, it is perfectly acceptable for Iraq to have a federalized quazi independant state of sunnistan... in so far as it is stable and not overly radicalized, it is also perfectly acceptable for shia Iraq to reconquer the rest of the sunni states in western Iraq. It is also perfectly acceptable to have some combination of the two. The flexibility of acceptable outcome means that it is much harder for Obama's strategy to fail in the long run, provided we keep ground forces out of the picture. The second they are introduced in any meaningful number the clock begins to tick. Without ground forces, the strategy can work... in so far as Obama sucessors understand that fact.