Following the declaration of America’s top general that the US must fight the “apocalyptic” Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, I spoke with BBC Coventry on Friday about whether Washington will now pursue a coherent strategy against the jihadists:

Listen to the discussion from 1:16.12, with my interview at 1:17.21

The interview also considers whether the US and Britain should ally with the Assad regime against the Islamic State, and whether the publicity given to the execution of American journalist James Foley by a British member of the Islamic State will assist the fight against the group.

I think the Americans want to take on the Islamic State. I think they recognize that they have to do it now in Syria as well as Iraq. But I don’t think they know how they are going to take on the Islamic State.

The difficulty is that for more than three years the Americans have been indecisive and, in the end, refrained from taking on the key problems in Syria with the Assad regime. Because they didn’t do that, they opened up the space for the Islamic State to establish a very strong presence there.

So now they face the double problem of the Islamic State and the Assad regime, and they’re back to the question: Do they finally give the insurgents the arms, ammunition, and ammunition needed? Or do they continue to dither while the situation worsens?

(Featured Photo: Protesters in Kafranbel in northwest Syria comment on President Obama and the Islamic State, January 2014)