No doubt the French bombing raid on Raqqa produced a lot of sound and light, but little else. The Coalition drone strikes and previous air activity have found a paucity of targets - ISIS are smart enough not to permanently use buildings or fixed bases on the surface or detectable by IR. It's estimated that only one in ten US air sorties finds a confirmed target - and the cost is prohibitively high, using a half million dollar missile to take out a five thousand dollar 'technical'.
After an initial richesse of targets, the Russians in the West of ISIL's caliphate will find the same thing. At first they destroy munitions dumps, then vehicles and finally a flock of chickens that counts as an 'economic target'. While ISIS hides amongst civilians.
No wonder that the RAF have made near to no difference at all in Iraq; the pitifully small number of aircraft and the low rate of productive sorties mean that the most we're doing is helping to keep ISIL's head down. The Canucks have already skedaddled - and they made even less difference than we have.
So some sort of ground offensive is needed. But as Hungary's wise President Orban has pointed out, Europe is faced with the prospect of our native troops dying in combat in Syria whilst Syrian troops who have deserted and migrated are drinking coffee on the Unter den Linden in Berlin. Not an attractive option for our politicians. So absent our use of our own ground forces, the only boots on the ground that can effectively engage ISIS are the Kurds and Assad's Syrians. And Cameron and his chums must overcome their embarrassment at having backed the wrong horses and support both those forces to the utmost of our ability - anything less will be a betrayal of the British people.