Paris attacks may lead to US military anti-IS escalation

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Will Paris Attack Pull US Deeper Into War Against Terrorism?

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Paris terrorist attacks seem likely to compel President Barack Obama to consider military escalation against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But that probably will not mean dramatic moves like launching a U.S. or international ground offensive or accelerating aerial bombing in hopes of eliminating the global threat of violent extremism.

"You aren't going to bomb ISIS back to the Stone Age," Anthony Cordesman, a longtime Middle East analyst, said Saturday.

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Paris attacks may lead to US military anti-IS escalation
A victim under a blanket lays dead outside the Bataclan theater in Paris, Friday Nov. 13, 2015. Well over 100 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country's borders. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Rescue workers gather at victims in the 10th district of Paris, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Several dozen people were killed in a series of unprecedented attacks around Paris on Friday, French President Francois Hollande said, announcing that he was closing the country's borders and declaring a state of emergency. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
People run after hearing what is believed to be explosions or gun shots near Place de la Republique square in Paris on November 13, 2015. At least 18 people were killed in several shootings and explosions in Paris today, police said. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman is being evacuated from the Bataclan theater after a shooting in Paris, Friday Nov. 13, 2015. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country's borders. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
A woman is being evacuated from the Bataclan theater after a shooting in Paris, Friday Nov. 13, 2015. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country's borders. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
French President Francois Hollande arrives to visit the site of the the Bataclan theater after a shooting in Paris, Friday Nov. 13, 2015. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country's borders. Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins says the death toll in attacks at six sites around the French capital could exceed 120. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Victims leave after a shooting, near the Bataclan theater in Paris, Friday Nov. 13, 2015. Well over 100 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions explosions. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country's borders. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Investigating police officers inspect the lifeless body of a victim of a shooting attack outside the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Well over 100 people were killed in Paris on Friday night in a series of shooting, explosions. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country's borders. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Victims lay on the pavement in a Paris restaurant, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Police officials in France on Friday reported a shootout in a Paris restaurant and an explosion in a bar near a Paris stadium. It was unclear if the events were linked. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Victims walk away outside the Bataclan theater in Paris, Friday Nov. 13, 2015. Well over 100 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions explosions. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country's borders. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Spectators invade the pitch of the Stade de France stadium after the international friendly soccer match between France and Germany in Saint Denis, outside Paris, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Hundreds of people spilled onto the field of the Stade de France stadium after explosions were heard nearby during a friendly match between the French and German national soccer teams. French President Francois Hollande says he is closing the country's borders and declaring a state of emergency after several dozen people were killed in a series of unprecedented terrorist attacks. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Supporters invade the pitch of the Stade de France stadium at the end of the international friendly soccer match between France and Germany in Saint Denis, outside Paris, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Hundreds of people spilled onto the field of the Stade de France stadium after explosions were heard nearby. French President Francois Hollande says he is closing the country's borders and declaring a state of emergency after several dozen people were killed in a series of unprecedented terrorist attacks. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Spectators embrace each other as they stand on the playing field of the Stade de France stadium at the end of a friendly soccer match between France and Germany in Saint Denis, outside Paris, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Hundreds made their way to the pitch after explosions were heard nearby. Multiple fatal attacks throughout the city have prompted President Francois Hollande to announce he was closing the country's borders and declaring a state of emergency. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Spectators gather on the pitch of the Stade de France stadium following the friendly football match between France and Germany in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on November 13, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. At least 18 people were killed, with at least 15 people killed at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, only around 200 metres from the former offices of Charlie Hebdo which were attacked by jihadists in January. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescue workers help a woman after a shooting, outside the Bataclan theater in Paris, Friday Nov. 13, 2015. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country's borders. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
A victim walks outside the Bataclan theater in Paris, Friday Nov. 13, 2015. Well over 100 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions explosions. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country's borders. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: French officials and medics work near Le Petit Cambodge restaurant in the 11th district after a drive-by shooting killing 11 people, November 14, 2015, Paris, France. At least 142 people were killed deadly shootings and explosions took place in several neighbourhoods of Paris. 1,500 troops deployed in French capital says Elysse. (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A victim is being evacuated from the Bataclan concert hall after a shooting in Paris, France, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. Well over 100 people were killed in Paris on Friday night in a series of shooting, explosions. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country's borders. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Victims lay on the pavement in a Paris restaurant, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Two police officials say at least 11 people have been killed in shootouts and other violence around Paris. Police have reported shootouts in at least two restaurants in Paris. At least two explosions have been heard near the Stade de France stadium, and French media is reporting of a hostage-taking in the capital. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Two men evacuate the Place de la Republique square in Paris as a police officer looks on, after several shootings on November 13, 2015. At least 18 people were killed in several shootings and explosions in Paris today, police said. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 13: Police survey the area of Boulevard Baumarchais after an attack in the French capital on November 13, 2015 in Paris, France. At least 18 people were killed in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. (Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)
Rescuers rush to the scene following an attack in the 10th arrondissement of the French capital Paris, on November 13, 2015. At least 18 people were killed as multiple shootings and explosions hit Paris, police said. Police also said there was an ongoing hostage crisis in the Bataclan a concert hall in the French capital. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
A person is being evacuated from the Bataclan theater after a shooting in Paris, Friday Nov. 13, 2015. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country's borders. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
A Victim of a shooting attack is treated on the pavement outside La Belle Equipe restaurant in Paris Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Well over 100 people were killed in Paris on Friday night in a series of shooting, explosions. (Anne Sophie Chaisemartin via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Victims of a shooting attack lay on the pavement outside La Bell Equipe restaurant in Paris Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Well over 100 people were killed in Paris on Friday night in a series of shooting, explosions. (Anne Sophie Chaisemartin via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
People rest on a bench after being evacuated from the Bataclan theater after a shooting in Paris, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. A series of attacks targeting young concert-goers, soccer fans and Parisians enjoying a Friday night out at popular nightspots killed over 100 people in the deadliest violence to strike France since World War II. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: French officials and medics work near Le Petit Cambodge restaurant in the 11th district after a drive-by shooting killing 11 people, November 14, 2015, Paris, France. At least 142 people were killed deadly shootings and explosions took place in several neighbourhoods of Paris. 1,500 troops deployed in French capital says Elysse. (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A firefighter attend to an injured person lying on a stretcher near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, on November 14, 2015. At least 39 people were killed in an 'unprecedented' series of bombings and shootings across Paris and at the Stade de France stadium on November 13. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
People are evacuated by bus, near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, on November 14, 2015. More than 100 people were killed in a mass hostage-taking at a Paris concert hall on November 13 and many more were feared dead in a series of bombings and shootings, as France declared a national state of emergency. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
People are comforted after being evacuated from the Bataclan theater after a shooting in Paris, Friday Nov. 13, 2015. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country's borders. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Investigating police officers work outside the Stade de France stadium after an explosion and after international friendly soccer match France against Germany, in Saint Denis, outside Paris, Friday Nov. 13, 2015. Multiple fatal attacks throughout the city have prompted President Francois Hollande to announce he was closing the country's borders and declaring a state of emergency. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about attacks in Paris from the briefing room of the White House, on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, in Washington. Obama is calling the attacks on Paris an "outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians" and vows to do whatever it takes to help bring the perpetrators to justice. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 13: U.S. President Barack Obama departs the White House briefing room after delivering remarks on the recent violence taking place in Paris, France November 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. Gunfire and explosions erupted in the French capital with early casualty reports indicating at least 60 dead. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Football fans leave the Stade de France stadium following the friendly football match between France and Germany in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on November 13, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. At least 18 people were killed, with at least 15 people killed at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, only around 200 metres from the former offices of Charlie Hebdo which were attacked by jihadists in January. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
Soccer fans leave the Stade de France stadium after an international friendly soccer match in Saint Denis, outside Paris, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. An explosion occurred outside the stadium. Several dozen people were killed in a series of unprecedented attacks around Paris on Friday, French President Francois Hollande said, announcing that he was closing the country's borders and declaring a state of emergency. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
French supporters invade the pitch of the Stade de France stadium at the end of the international friendly soccer match between France and Germany in Saint Denis, outside Paris, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Hundreds of people spilled onto the field of the Stade de France stadium after explosions were heard nearby. French President Francois Hollande says he is closing the country's borders and declaring a state of emergency after several dozen people were killed in a series of unprecedented terrorist attacks. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Soccer fans wait on the fitch of the Stade de France stadium after an international friendly soccer match in Saint Denis, outside Paris, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. An explosion occurred outside the stadium. Several dozen people were killed in a series of unprecedented attacks around Paris on Friday, French President Francois Hollande said, announcing that he was closing the country's borders and declaring a state of emergency. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
supporters run in panic on the pitch during the International friendly match between France and Germany on November 13, 2015 at the Stade France in Paris, France.(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
Police are seen outside a cafe-restaurant in 10th arrondissement of the French capital Paris, on November 13, 2015. At least 18 people were killed as multiple shootings and explosions hit Paris, police said. Police also said there was an ongoing hostage crisis in the Bataclan a concert hall in the French capital. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
RETRANSMISSION FOR ALTERNATIVE CROP - Emergency services attewnd the scene as victims lay on the pavement outside a Paris restaurant, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Police officials in France on Friday report multiple terror incidents, leaving many dead. It was unclear at this stage if the events are linked. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
A policeman stands behind a cordon blocking the street near the site of an attack in a restaurant in Paris on November 13, 2015. At least 18 people were killed in multiple attacks in Paris Friday, including one near the Stade de France sports stadium and another at a concert venue. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
A victim lies on the ground covered by a white sheet (Rear L) as special police work at the attack scene rue Bichat, in central Paris, early on November 14, 2015. More than 100 people were killed in a mass hostage-taking at a Paris concert hall late on November 13 and many more were feared dead in a series of bombings and shootings, as France declared a national state of emergency. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
Firefighters and rescuers evacuate injured people near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, on November 14, 2015. At least 39 people were killed in an 'unprecedented' series of bombings and shootings across Paris and at the Stade de France stadium on November 13. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
People are evacuated following an attack at the Bataclan concert venue in Paris, on November 13, 2015. At least 18 people were killed in multiple attacks in Paris Friday, including one near the Stade de France sports stadium. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
Forensic experts inspect the site of an attack outside the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, early on November 14, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
Investigating police officers work outside the Stade de France stadium after an international friendly soccer match France against Germany, in Saint Denis, outside Paris, Friday Nov. 13, 2015. Several dozen people were killed in attacks around Paris on Friday, French President Francois Hollande said, announcing that he was closing the countryâs borders and declaring a state of emergency. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Medics stand by victims in a Paris restaurant, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Police officials in France on Friday reported a shootout in a Paris restaurant and an explosion in a bar near a Paris stadium. It was unclear if the events were linked. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
French President Francois Hollande is seen through the glass door after a security meeting at the Elysee palace in Paris, France, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. French President Francois Hollande vowed to attack the Islamic State group without mercy as the jihadist group admitted responsibility Saturday for orchestrating the deadliest attacks inflicted on France since World War II. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
French President Francois Hollande speaks at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, following a series of coordinated attacks in and around Paris late Friday which left more than 120 people dead. Hollande on Saturday blamed the Islamic State group for the attacks in Paris that left at least 128 dead, calling them an "act of war". (Stephane de Sakutin/Pool Photo via AP)
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Cordesman and other American defense analysts said Obama may deepen U.S. involvement incrementally by, for example, embedding U.S. military advisers closer to the front lines of battle with Iraqi forces and with anti-IS fighters in Syria. But that and similar moves to intensify U.S. support for local forces is unlikely to produce quick results.

As Cordesman sees it, years of tragic terrorist attacks like Paris are almost inevitable, and there are no near-term solutions.

Stephen Biddle, a George Washington University professor of international affairs, said the Paris attack may create a political imperative to do more militarily against IS, but he thinks it would be a mistake to launch a U.S. ground war.

"To defeat ISIL decisively would require hundreds of thousands of Western ground troops, but nobody thinks the ISIL threat warrants that scale of commitment, and in fact it doesn't," Biddle said.

At the core of the U.S. strategy in Iraq is a belief that unless local forces are empowered to retake and secure their own territory, any military gains the U.S. could make by leading the charge would be short-lived. In Syria, Obama had been unwilling to get more involved in a civil war, although he recently agreed to send a few dozen special operations forces.

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Paris terror attack memorials, aftermath, world reaction
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Paris attacks may lead to US military anti-IS escalation
A building is decorated with French flags in Paris, Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. French President Francois Hollande called on his compatriots to hang French tricolor flags on Friday to pay homage to the 130 victims of the Nov. 13 attacks, an unusual appeal by a Socialist leader in a country where flag-waving is often associated with nationalists and the far right. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
French President Francois Hollande, center, attends a ceremony to honor the 130 victims killed in the Nov. 13 attacks in the courtyard of the Invalides in Paris, Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. A subdued France paid homage Friday to those killed two weeks ago in the attacks that gripped Paris in fear and mourning. (Philippe Wojazer/Pool Photo via AP)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 27: President of France Francois Hollande attends The National Tribute to The Victims of The Paris Terrorist Attacks at Les Invalides on November 27, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Wounded people in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks take part to a ceremony in the courtyard of the Invalides in Paris, Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. France is mourning and honoring those killed in the Nov. 13 attacks in a somber ceremony presided by French President Francois Hollande. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
A man displays the French flag in front of the Bataclan concert hall, which was a site of last Friday's attacks, in Paris, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. France is demanding security aid and assistance from the European Union in the wake of the Paris attacks and has triggered a never-before-used article in the EU's treaties to secure it. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
A woman prays as they pay their respect in front of a floral tribute near the Bataclan concert hall after the terrorist attacks in Paris, Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. France is urging its European partners to move swiftly to boost intelligence sharing, fight arms trafficking and terror financing, and strengthen border security in the wake of the Paris attacks. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
Two mourners kiss outside the Bataclan concert hall, which was a site of last Friday's attacks, adorned with a banner reading "Freedom is a monument which can not be destroyed", in Paris, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. France is demanding security aid and assistance from the European Union in the wake of the Paris attacks and has triggered a never-before-used article in the EU's treaties to secure it. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
People watch the illuminated Eiffel Tower in the French national colors red, white and blue in honor of the victims of the terrorist attacks last Friday in Paris, Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. France is urging its European partners to move swiftly to boost intelligence sharing, fight arms trafficking and terror financing, and strengthen border security in the wake of the Paris attacks. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
People react, in front of the restaurant Le Carillon, one of the establishments targeted in Friday's gun and bomb attacks, in Paris, Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. French police raided more than 150 locations overnight as authorities released the names of two more potential suicide bombers involved in the Paris attacksâ one born in Syria, the other a Frenchman wanted as part of a terrorism investigation. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Hands of participants cast a shadow as Indian youth try to stretch a huge banner before beginning a silent rally to protest against Friday's Paris attacks, in Kolkata, India, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015. Multiple attacks across Paris on Friday night have left more than one hundred dead and many more injured. (AP Photo/ Bikas Das)
French President Francois Hollande observes a minute of silence before delivering a speech at the Versailles castle, west of Paris, Monday, Nov.16, 2015. French President Francois Hollande addressed parliament about France's response to the Paris attacks, in a rare speech to lawmakers gathered in the majestic congress room of the Palace of Versailles. (Philippe Wojazer, Pool via AP)
French President Francois Hollande arrives to deliver a speech at the Versailles castle, west of Paris, Monday, Nov.16, 2015. French President Francois Hollande is addressing parliament about France's response to the Paris attacks, in a rare speech to lawmakers gathered in the majestic congress room of the Palace of Versailles. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
A woman carrying flowers cries in front of the Carillon cafe and the Petit Cambodge restaurant in Paris Saturday Nov. 14, 2015, a day after over 120 people were killed in a series of attacks in Paris. French President Francois Hollande said at least 127 people died Friday night when at least eight attackers launched gun attacks at Paris cafes, detonated suicide bombs near France's national stadium and killed hostages inside a concert hall during a rock show. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
People lay flowers and candles in front of the restaurant Le Carillon, one of the establishments targeted in Friday's gun and bomb attacks, in Paris, Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. French police raided more than 150 locations overnight as authorities released the names of two more potential suicide bombers involved in the Paris attacksâ one born in Syria, the other a Frenchman wanted as part of a terrorism investigation. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
People react, in front of the restaurant Le Carillon, one of the establishments targeted in Friday's gun and bomb attacks, in Paris, Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. French police raided more than 150 locations overnight as authorities released the names of two more potential suicide bombers involved in the Paris attacksâ one born in Syria, the other a Frenchman wanted as part of a terrorism investigation. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Flowers are put in a window shattered by a bullet as a forensic marker sits next to the impact as people pay their respect to the victims at the site of the attacks on restaurant Le Petit Cambodge (Little Cambodia) and the Carillon Hotel on the first of three days of national mourning in Paris, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. Thousands of French troops deployed around Paris on Sunday and tourist sites stood shuttered in one of the most visited cities on Earth while investigators questioned the relatives of a suspected suicide bomber involved in the country's deadliest violence since World War II. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 15: People gather and sing songs at Place de la Republique on November 15, 2015 in Paris, France. As France observes three days of national mourning members of the public continue to pay tribute to the victims of Friday's deadly attacks. A special service for the families of the victims and survivors is to be held at Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Women comfort each other as they stand in front of the Carillon cafe, in Paris, Saturday, Nov.14, 2015. French President Francois Hollande vowed to attack Islamic State without mercy as the jihadist group admitted responsibility Saturday for orchestrating the deadliest attacks inflicted on France since World War II. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 15: Members of the public gather to lay flowers and light candles at La Belle Equipe restaraunt on Rue de Charonne following Fridays terrorist attack on November 15, 2015 in Paris, France. As France observes three days of national mourning members of the public continue to pay tribute to the victims of Friday's deadly attacks. A special service for the families of the victims and survivors is to be held at Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral later on Sunday. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 14: People finish arranging candles into the word 'Paris' next to flowers and messages left at the gate of the French Embassy following the recent terror attacks in Paris on November 14, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Hundreds of people came throughout the day to lay flowers, candles and messages of condolence to mourn the victims of attacks last night in Paris that left at least 120 people dead across the French capital. The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attacks that were carried out by at least eight terrorists.. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
A woman lights a candle at the French embassy in Guatemala City, during a ceremony Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in homage to the victims of the deadly attacks in Paris. Multiple terrorist attacks across Paris on Friday night left more than one hundred dead and many more injured. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)
People react outside the Paris morgue in Paris, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. French President Francois Hollande vowed to attack the Islamic State group without mercy as the jihadist group admitted responsibility Saturday for orchestrating the deadliest attacks inflicted on France since World War II. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
A man pays respect to the victims of the attacks next to a sign reading "We Are Not Afraid" at Place de la Republique (Republic Square) in Paris, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. French President Francois Hollande vowed to attack the Islamic State group without mercy as the jihadist group claimed responsibility Saturday for orchestrating the deadliest attacks on France since World War II. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: Bono and band members from the band U2 place flowers on the pavement near the scene of yesterday's Bataclan Theatre terrorist attack on November 14, 2015 in Paris, France. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously, following a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
People gather for a national service for the victims of the terror attack at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. Thousands of French troops deployed around Paris on Sunday and tourist sites stood shuttered in one of the most visited cities on Earth while investigators questioned the relatives of a suspected suicide bomber involved in the country's deadliest violence since World War II. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
With the Brandenburg Gate, illuminated in the French national colors, in the background, a woman from Tunisia mourns for the victims killed in the Friday's attacks in Paris, France, next to the French Embassy in Berlin, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. French President Francois Hollande said more than 120 people died Friday night in shootings at Paris cafes, suicide bombings near France's national stadium and a hostage-taking slaughter inside a concert hall. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
People pay their respect to the victims at the site of the attacks on restaurant Le Petit Cambodge (Little Cambodia) and the Carillon Hotel on the first of three days of national mourning in Paris, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. Thousands of French troops deployed around Paris on Sunday and tourist sites stood shuttered in one of the most visited cities on Earth while investigators questioned the relatives of a suspected suicide bomber involved in the country's deadliest violence since World War II. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
A man holds his head in his hands as he lays flowers in front of the Carillon cafe, in Paris, Saturday, Nov.14, 2015. French President Francois Hollande vowed to attack Islamic State without mercy as the jihadist group admitted responsibility Saturday for orchestrating the deadliest attacks inflicted on France since World War II. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
People react outside the Paris morgue in Paris, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. French President Francois Hollande vowed to attack the Islamic State group without mercy as the jihadist group admitted responsibility Saturday for orchestrating the deadliest attacks inflicted on France since World War II. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: A woman cries near Le Petit Cambodge restaurant, the day after a deadly attack on November 14, 2015 in Paris, France. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously, following a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)
People pass a painting on a garage door opposite the restaurant on Rue de Charonne, Paris, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, where attacks took place on Friday. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Friday's attacks on a stadium, a concert hall and Paris cafes that left more than 120 people dead and over 350 wounded. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A bullet hole in the window of the restaurant on Rue de Charonne, Paris, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, where attacks took place on Friday. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Friday's attacks on a stadium, a concert hall and Paris cafes that left more than 120 people dead and over 350 wounded. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
French soldiers patrol at the Eiffel Tower which remained closed on the first of three days of national mourning in Paris, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. Thousands of French troops deployed around Paris on Sunday and tourist sites stood shuttered in one of the most visited cities on Earth while investigators questioned the relatives of a suspected suicide bomber involved in the country's deadliest violence since World War II. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
A man places a candle in front of the Carillon cafe in Paris Saturday Nov. 14, 2015, a day after over 120 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
People light candles outside the French embassy in Vilnius, Lithuania, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, for the victims killed in Friday's attacks in Paris. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 14: People arrive to lay candles and flowers at the gate of the French Embassy as the Brandenburg Gate stands behind illuminated in the colors of the French flag following the recent terror attacks in Paris on November 14, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Hundreds of people came throughout the day to lay flowers, candles and messages of condolence to mourn the victims of attacks last night in Paris that left at least 120 people dead across the French capital. The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attacks that were carried out by at least eight terrorists. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
A Christian boy prays during a candlelight vigil for victims who were killed in Friday's attacks in Paris, at St. Thomas Church in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. Multiple attacks across Paris on Friday night have left scores dead and hundreds injured. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
A woman lays flowers to pay tribute to the victims of Paris Attacks outside the French Embassy in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. Multiple attacks across Paris on Friday night have left scores dead and hundreds injured. (Balazs Mohai/MTI via AP)
Alexandra Salomon, from Paris, France, center, joins a vigil outside the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, to pay tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks. Multiple attacks across Paris on Friday night have left scores dead and hundreds injured. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Egyptian tour guides hold a candlelight vigil at the base of the Great Pyramid of Giza in solidarity with victims of attacks in Paris and Beirut and the Russian plane crash in northern Sinai, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. The Islamic State group have claimed responsibility for Friday night's attacks in Paris, Thursdays's twin powerful suicide bombings that tore through a crowded Shiite neighborhood of Beirut, and bringing down a Russian jetliner over Egypt's Sinai region earlier this month. (AP Photo/Thomas Hartwell)
A young woman with her lips painted in the French national colours as Copenhagen citizens with torches gathered Sunday Nov. 15. 2015 at Kongens Nytorv Square by the French Embassy to commemorate the victims of the terrorist attack in Paris Friday. (Miriam Dalsgaard/Polfoto via AP) DENMARK OUT
Denver Broncos free safety Darian Stewart (26) carries the French Flag as he takes the field prior to an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 15: Ultra Orthodox Jewish men pass as Jerusalem's Old City wall is illuminated with the colours of the French national flag to show solidarity for the victims of the Paris attacks on November 15, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. At least 129 people have been killed and over 300 are injured in Paris following a series of terrorist acts in the French capital on Friday. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
Mumbaiâs Chhatrapati Shivaji train station building is illuminated by the colors of the French national flag in solidarity with France following Fridayâs Paris terror attacks, Mumbai, India, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. This Mumbai landmark was one of the major targets of the 2008 terror attacks that killed 166 people. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
French exchange student Loris Boichot, of Nice, France, is wrapped in the French flag as he displays a placard at a vigil Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Boston, held in sympathy for people of Paris. Multiple attacks across the French capital on Friday night have left scores dead and hundreds injured. The placard call for an end to barbarism, and includes the opening words to the French national anthem. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: A woman cries outside of the Consulate General of France in New York the day after an attack on civilians in Paris on November 14, 2015 in New York City. At least 100 people were killed in a popular Paris concert hall, one of at least 6 terror attacks in the French capital. The French president Francois Hollande closed French borders following the attacks. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A woman cries as she mourns for the victims killed in the Friday's attacks in Paris, France, in front of the French Embassy in Berlin, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. French President Francois Hollande said more than 120 people died Friday night in shootings at Paris cafes, suicide bombings near France's national stadium and a hostage-taking slaughter inside a concert hall. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
A woman with her arm painted with the phrase in French "I am Paris" participates in a ceremony in Lima, Peru, in homage to the victims of the deadly attacks in Paris, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. Multiple terrorist attacks across Paris on Friday night left more than one hundred dead and many more injured. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
French soldiers patrol the area at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on November 14, 2015 following a series of coordinated attacks in and around Paris late Friday which left more than 120 people dead. French President Francois Hollande blamed the Islamic State group for the attacks in Paris that left at least 128 dead, calling them an 'act of war'. The multiple attacks across the city late Friday were 'an act of war... committed by a terrorist army, the Islamic State, against France, against... what we are, a free country,' Hollande said. AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS GUILLOT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
Shoes and bloody shirt lay outside the Bataclan concert hall, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015 in Paris. French President Francois Hollande said more than 120 people died Friday night in shootings at Paris cafes, suicide bombings near France's national stadium and a hostage-taking slaughter inside a concert hall. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 15: A rose is placed beside a bullet hole at La Belle Equipe restaraunt on Rue de Charonne following Fridays terrorist attack on November 15, 2015 in Paris, France. As France observes three days of national mourning members of the public continue to pay tribute to the victims of Friday's deadly attacks. A special service for the families of the victims and survivors is to be held at Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral later on Sunday.(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
A woman places a paper with a peace sign combined with the Eiffel Tower and the words: 'We are united' between flowers and candles to remember the victims of Friday's attacks in Paris, in front of the French Embassy in Berlin, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. Multiple attacks across Paris on Friday night have left scores dead and hundreds injured. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
A man passes candles placed for t victims of the Paris attacks Friday night, in front of the Hildesheim cathedral in Hildesheim northern Germany, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. French President Francois Hollande said more than 120 people died Friday night in shootings at Paris cafes, suicide bombings near France's national stadium and a hostage-taking slaughter inside a concert hall. (Peter Steffen/dpa via AP)
People gather in Hong Kong, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, to mourn for the victims killed in Friday's attacks in Paris. French President Francois Hollande said more than 120 people died Friday night in shootings at Paris cafes, suicide bombings near France's national stadium and a hostage-taking slaughter inside a concert hall. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
A man hides his face as he leaves the morgue in Paris, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. French President Francois Hollande vowed to attack the Islamic State group without mercy as the jihadist group admitted responsibility Saturday for orchestrating the deadliest attacks inflicted on France since World War II. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
A watch lays on the ground outside the Bataclan concert hall, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015 in Paris. French President Francois Hollande said more than 120 people died Friday night in shootings at Paris cafes, suicide bombings near France's national stadium and a hostage-taking slaughter inside a concert hall. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Flowers are placed outside the Bataclan concert hall, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015 in Paris. French President Francois Hollande said more than 120 people died Friday night in shootings at Paris cafes, suicide bombings near France's national stadium and a hostage-taking slaughter inside a concert hall. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
The One World Trade Center spire is lit blue, white and red after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the lighting in honor of dozens killed in the Paris attacks Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, in New York. French officials say several dozen people have been killed in shootings and explosions at a theater, restaurant and elsewhere in Paris. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 14: Pedestrians walk in front of the Sydney Opera House as its sails are illuminated in the colours of the French flag on November 14, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 are injured in Paris following a series of terrorist acts in the French capital on Friday. (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Getty Images)
People mix the wax of candles with the French colors outside the French embassy in Lima, Peru, during a ceremony in homage to the victims of the deadly attacks in Paris, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. Multiple terrorist attacks across Paris on Friday night left more than one hundred dead and many more injured. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 14: A woman with a French flag painted in her face cries during a vigil for victims of the Paris terror attacks at Martin Place on November 14, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously, following a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital. (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Getty Images)
Cards, candles and flowers are placed in front of the Carillon cafe in Paris Saturday Nov. 14, 2015, a day after over 120 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
People lay flowers in front of the French Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, to mourn the victims in Friday's Paris attacks. French President Francois Hollande said more than 120 people died Friday night in shootings at Paris cafes, suicide bombings near France's national stadium and a hostage-taking slaughter inside a concert hall. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 14: Benjamin Hebert of France with a message for Paris on his golf cap during the third round of the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren Golf Club on November 14, 2015 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
People line up to lay flowers in front of the French embassy in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, for the victims of the Paris attacks on Friday. French President Francois Hollande said more than 120 people died Friday night in shootings at Paris cafes, suicide bombings near France's national stadium and a hostage-taking slaughter inside a concert hall. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
People lay flowers and light candles in front of French Embassy in Warsaw on November 14, 2015 following a series of terror attacks in the French city of Paris and its surroundings that has left at least 120 people dead and some 200 wounded. AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI (Photo credit should read JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman holds a bouquet of roses during a vigil in solidarity with France after the deadly attacks in Paris, outside France's embassy in Bogota, Colombia, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. Multiple attacks across Paris on Friday night have left scores dead and hundreds injured. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 14: A man hold a French flag and a sign during a vigil for victims of the Paris terror attacks at Martin Place on November 14, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously, following a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital. (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Getty Images)
People line up to give blood at the St Louis hospital across the street from the Petit Cambodge restaurant in Paris Saturday Nov. 14, 2015, a day after over 120 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: A man reads a French newspaper after a terrorist attack on November 14, 2015 in Paris, France. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously, following a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
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One new wrinkle since Friday's attacks in Paris is the prospect of France asking its NATO allies to come to its aid, invoking the 28 members' treaty obligation to consider an armed attack on one member as an attack against them all. That has happened only once in NATO's 66-year history: in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks against the U.S.

James Stavridis, the retired Navy admiral who served as NATO's top commander in Europe from 2009 to 2013, said NATO should play a military role now.

"NATO's actions need to be deliberate, meaningful and at a significant scale," Stavridis said by email, adding that consultations among the allies should begin shortly.

Stavridis, who is dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, said NATO special forces could be called on in Iraq and Syria as aircraft spotters and as trainers of anti-IS fighters. They also could gather intelligence and conduct raids, he said. The alliance should welcome nonmember participants, including Russia, he said.

"Soft power and playing the long game matter in the Middle East, but there is a time for the ruthless application of hard power," Stavridis said. "This is that time, and NATO should respond militarily against the Islamic State with vigor.

RELATED: World leaders react to Paris attacks:

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World Leaders react to Paris terrorist attack
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Paris attacks may lead to US military anti-IS escalation
Terrorists have declared war on the France. Our response must express a firmness and determination of each moment. -NS
.@POTUS: Paris attack was "attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share" https://t.co/N7lFpdZiMZ https://t.co/Wdcvof6lYI
#UNSG Ban Ki-moon condemns despicable terrorist attacks in #Paris; demands immediate release of those held hostage: https://t.co/dNNWohKXCM
I am shocked by events in Paris tonight. Our thoughts and prayers are with the French people. We will do whatever we can to help.
I am shocked and saddened that so many people have been killed and injured in violent attacks in #Paris. Canada stands with France.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is "deeply shaken" by Paris attacks. https://t.co/kcbJNCK81D
The reports from Paris are harrowing. Praying for the city and families of the victims. -H
I am deeply shocked by horrific Paris attacks. We stand together with the people of #France. Terrorism will never defeat democracy.
U.S. will support French people in any way we can & continue to stand for liberté, égalité, fraternité.
I am deeply shocked by the events in Paris. We stand in full solidarity with the people of France.
JUST IN: US SecDef Ash Carter's statement https://t.co/hWWQBGNFIN
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Obama began U.S. bombing in Iraq and Syria, along with the deployment of military advisers to Iraq, more than a year ago. And although thousands of IS fighters have been killed, the U.S.-led coalition campaign has had only limited successes.

Overall the extremists remain in control of about a third of Iraq and Syria. IS continues to impose its unforgiving brand of radical Islam and carrying out atrocities against minority groups, including sexual enslavement of women.

Richard Fontaine, president of the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank, said the Obama administration almost certainly will consider new ways to accelerate its military campaign.

Fontaine, a former foreign policy adviser to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Obama might opt for at least two changes in Iraq that he has resisted thus far: embedding U.S. military advisers in Iraqi army units closer to the front lines, and deploying forward air controllers on the battlefield to improve the effectiveness of U.S. airstrikes.

He saw little chance, however, of the U.S. undertaking a ground invasion of Syria.

"I wouldn't put that in the realistic category," he said.

Biddle, the George Washington University professor, said he expects a limited escalation from the U.S. and its allies, but he sees no options that would make a decisive military difference.

"Elected officials feel obligated to do something when bad news emerges from ISIL," he said. "So they escalate a bit. Because the escalation falls far short of what's needed to defeat ISIL, the escalation doesn't solve the problem, and so there's more bad news of some kind a few months later and the cycle repeats. This could go on a long time. My guess is that the Paris attacks will also follow this pattern."

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