PHOTO: An Islamic State fighter plants a flag in Ramadi in Iraq

Amid the surge in concern over the Islamic State, following its recent victories in Iraq’s Ramadi and Syria’s Palmyra, I spoke with BBC West Midlands radio on Monday morning about the situation.

Facing the question, “Should the US and Britain put in ground troops?”, I tried to inject some realism:

Listen from 21:32

1. “If you send in a massive amount of American and British forces, and if you do not have local support, the situation only gets worse.”

2. “The danger is that, in addition to the anger and frustration from the 2003 Iraq War, we get a misleading picture of the Islamic State. All of a sudden the Islamic State is this giant menace marching across the Middle East.”

3. “The Islamic State has won victories but what has been missed, amid the panic, is that the Islamic State has also suffered a series of defeats in recent weeks.”

4. “Iran is already involved in Iraq, with commanders and fighters. Do you at some point talk with the Iranians, if it is in the interest of all to have a stable Iraq?”

5. “The situation is more favorable in Syria than in Iraq. You need to start with Syria and push the Islamic State back there — that gives you some leverage with Iraq.”

6. “The Islamic State will run into trouble when it tries to govern cities, because they cannot just scare people into supporting them.”