Go ahead: blame the rise of the Islamic State (IS) on George W. Bush's unwise entry into Iraq in 2003 and Barack Obama's early exit, if you like. You could even add to that charge the current administration's willful aversion to militarizing the U.S. role in Syria, either by not supporting the centrist opposition or by not doing enough to weaken the Assad regime. Sprinkle in a bit of Obama's "red line" on chemical weapons turning pink for good measure. So what does this Middle East mess and meltdown actually mean for U.S. policy in the region? Quite a lot, really, as America is on terra incognita, balancing tough choices in a harsh environment with few good choices and even fewer friends. And here's why.