For the past week, top Pentagon officials have been busy engaging in something that they rarely relish: Domestic politics. In a series of leaks, beginning on Oct. 26 in the New York Times, "unnamed" Pentagon officials have disclosed a deep and growing rift between the military and the Obama White House and National Security Council over the managing of the war against the Islamic State. The original New York Times story reported on a memo written by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to National Security Advisor Susan Rice in early October, spelling out deep flaws in the White House managing of the Iraq and Syria operations against IS. Hagel demanded, among other things, a clarification from the President on how to pursue the anti-IS campaign in Syria, where the only viable fighting force on the ground is the Syrian Army. The Pentagon has made clear from the outset of the US air operations against the Islamic State that there is no possibility of defeating the jihadists by air war alone. Boots on the ground--preferably non-American boots--are going to be required to actually defeat the IS. In the case of Syria, there is no UN authorization or Congressional approval for the American actions, which means that the US must be very careful not to take any actions aimed against the Assad government.