Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper complained about a “permissive” climate in Turkey that was allowing ISIS to grow and bring in recruits from abroad.
“Public opinion polls show in Turkey they don’t see ISIS as a primary threat,” Clapper noted, saying it had allowed ISIS to use Turkey as a route through which to travel to its caliphate.
Clapper went on to complain that Turkey was more concerned with its economy than with its role in the US war against ISIS, despite the “galvanizing” effect the ISIS execution of a Jordanian pilot had in getting other countries behind the war effort.
Yet Turkey has felt a much bigger impact from the ISIS war than the US has, absorbing massive numbers of refugees from Syria, and now has to cope with a long, common border with the ISIS caliphate.
Though the US may not be thrilled with Turkey’s handling of border security, the mountainous nature of the border region makes it difficult to manage, and with so many refugees floating around the border, it’s not always easy to control traffic.