Just dropping food and supplies on a remote mountain in northwestern Iraq doesn't begin to solve the problem - where do these tens of thousands of Yazidis and Christians go? If you want to create a humanitarian corridor or a safe haven it inevitably involves ground troops and that is something the White House has emphatically ruled out.
It is fair to say there is an increasing likelihood of not just air drops but of air strikes and then America will be left to hope that Kurdish and Iraqi government forces come to the rescue on the ground. One thing is for sure: the White House sees doing nothing - effectively being a spectator to this tragedy - as the worst option of all.
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have emerged victorious in the battle for Mosul Dam, but the question is - what will their next move be?
An ITV News team at Mosul Dam was with victorious Kurdish Peshmerga fighters at the complex earlier today.
ITV News joined a Kurdish unit fighting Islamist militants near Irbil and found them using tanks from the 1950s and short on ammunition.