The dangers of Obama's incrementalism

ISKANDARIYA, IRAQ - JULY 19: U.S. soldiers with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment patrol a new ditch they have dug to protect the base from attack on July 19, 2011 in Iskandariya, Babil Province Iraq. As the deadline for the departure of the remaining American forces in Iraq approaches, Iraqi politicians have agreed to meet in two weeks time in order to give a final decision about extending the U.S. troops' presence beyond the end of the 2011 deadline. Violence against foreign troops has recently picked-up with June being the worst month in combat-related deaths for the military in Iraq in more than two years. Currently about 46,000 U.S. soldiers remain in Iraq.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(CNN)It is difficult to find anyone in the Obama administration who believes that putting up to 50 Special Operations soldiers on the ground in Syria will make much of a difference in the raging civil war there. And yet, the president has authorized this expansion of America's military intervention for the same reasons that he has approved incremental escalations for the past year and a half. He believes he has to do something .

But what he is doing will not work. And in a few months, the United States will face the challenge again — back down or double down. So far, President Obama has responded each time with increased intervention.