McClatchy quotes Vice President and Rafik Hariri Center Director Francis J. Ricciardone on why the United States is not tougher on Turkey’s hesitance to fight ISIS:
Francis Ricciardone, a former US ambassador to Ankara now at the Atlantic Council think tank, said such a move by Turkey would run contrary to a “convergence of strategic interests” – basically, opposition to both Assad as well as ISIS – that Turkey shares with other big players in the Syrian conflict.
“The trick is to unlock those compelling convergences and to act on them,” Ricciardone wrote in response to emailed questions. “Very hard, resource-intensive work, but not impossible. Only the United States is in position to accomplish it.”
Such work demands an understanding of the Turkish position, Ricciardone said. Where the Americans see Turkey as a less-than-enthusiastic member of the anti-ISIS coalition, the Turks see the United States as a less-than-enthusiastic member of the anti-Assad coalition. Especially when, as Ricciardone said, “they perceive the United States to be the formerly enthusiastic founding member.”