Gregg, what do you think those next steps should be, especially in light of the fact that there is progress being made to take Raqqa, and potentially an increase of raids and attacks?

As ISIS gets itself removed from the region, we see that vacuum being filled by Iranian-backed militias, the Syrians, and other Russian-backed forces on an east to west axis, going from Tehran all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.

MEF director Gregg Roman

And the U.S. strategic proportional response has already been declared. They want to create a north-to-south axis of moderate Sunni and Kurdish fighters, starting in the three provinces of Iraq where the Kurds have control, moving all the way down the Syrian and Iraqi [borders] ... to Al-Tanf and to the Jordanian border.

So if American can hermetically seal [off] the ability of the Iranians and the Syrians to connect on the Iraqi-Syrian border and create an area of control – not just a safe zone, but one in which you may see American forces permanently stationed in the future – that is the strategic proportional response to put Russia in its place, to minimize Syrian aggression, and to disallow the Iranians from connecting with their allies –

– As far as Mark's point, though, do you think that every time a U.S. aircraft is painted, either by a radar system or by a surface-to-air missile system on the ground – and by 'painting' we mean that ... radar is essentially hitting them – that there should be some sort of response?

I think those systems that paint American aircraft should be taken out.