Over the weekend, the group calling itself the Islamic State released a video showing yet another beheading, this time of a British citizen, prompting broader calls for action in the region.
"The sensationalism around the video release has galvanized public support for intervention in the Middle East," said Juan Cole professor of history at the University of Michigan.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in Paris today where leaders from 30 nations agreed to take action, including military force, against the group known as ISIS.
Several Arab nations have also offered to take part in air strikes against the militants, U.S. officials say.
"However, if you look at the fine print, those commitments are mostly pretty thin," said Cole. "There's not very much of a military commitment."
Cole's recent work is the author, most recently, of The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East.