Over the weekend, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visited Turkey and discussed the situation in Syria with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Speaking to reporters, Biden said that Washington and Ankara were prepared for a military solution to the Islamic State crisis in Syria. The U.S. vice president called for an expanded Turkish role in the fight against IS.
Media coverage of this visit has disproportionately focused on the Kurdish issue, calling it a sore point between the Americans and the Turks. This narrative goes on to argue that this disconnect is a major obstacle to Turkey playing a bigger role against IS. In reality, the Kurds are not as much of an issue in U.S.-Turkish dealings as they are made out to be. The United States has little interest in or influence over the Kurdish issue and the Turks know this. At a time when Russia, Syria and IS are critical issues, Biden did not go to Turkey to discuss the Kurds. It is certainly not dri