Extending RAAF strikes to Syria is not part of a grand strategy for Syria. Rather, insiders say, the strategy is still firmly about Iraq.
In fact they say there is negligible hope of actually destroying Islamic State. The best that coalition strategists hope for is that it can be degraded to a manageable level in the hope of giving the Iraqi government time and space to pull the country's sectarian and tribal interests together into a reasonably inclusive political system
– which on current form, some officials acknowledge, does not look hopeful.
Beyond that, a comprehensive strategy for Syria is a whole other game.
The dictatorial regime of Bashar al-Assad will have to go. That could mean coalition air power targeting regime forces. It will certainly mean a much bigger program to boost moderate rebels militarily – a job the US has been gingerly attempting with negligible results.
It will also take a massive international diplomatic effort. Russia's support for the regime will need to be peeled away,
China will need to get on side, and Iran will have to be persuaded to accept regime change in Damascus, putting at risk its chain of influence along the Shiite crescent from Tehran to southern Lebanon.