My answer was a careful consideration of limited use of land-based Airpower in concert with non-military instruments of national power. If land-based air is not available, do not further stress the Navy by going with sea-based options other than perhaps TLAMs.* Although I doubt that a few TLAMs here or there would save Erbil from a concerted offensive by Erbil's enemies.
Had thought to remain away from this subject but this last thought of Mr. Perry's deserves further:
I can’t agree with Christopher Rein’s assessment of Robert E. Lee. The claim that he was “one of the worst, if not the worst, military commander of all time” is wildly overstated, and to dismiss him as “a traitor and a failure” is overly simplistic.
“The existence of his nation (if you recognize the South's right to secede) depended on his performance on the battlefield and as an advisor, and he failed miserably.”
Some on this thread evince a desire for a sort of clarity that I find has little to do with the real world.
That said, let us boil it down to several, fundamental questions:
-First, should the semi-autonomous regime in Erbil be threatened what should the US Role be? Military (first choice in all cases for last 30 years), Diplomatic (usually never employed alone and usually in back seat to military/hammer solution), economic, informational [thus I have used the DIME], other (this is for the HG audience to take on), or combinations?