Valdai Paper #73: Russia–US Relations and the Future of Syria

10.08.2017

The greatest analytical challenge in trying to understand the Syrian civil wars overcoming the propensity to see the world as it was and not as it is. It is tempting to look at Syria on a map and imagine that one day soon it could be put back together – if only a resolution could be found during diplomatic meetings in Astana or Istanbul. It is also tempting to view the U.S. and Russian interventions in Syria as an extension of the Cold War, and to interpret every move by each side as part of a zero-sum contest for influence. But these frameworks are outdated, and they are inadequate for either the current situation in Syria or its future.

This is not to say that Russian and U.S. interests will line up perfectly or that this will lead to a U.S.-Russia detente. Overall, however, Russia and the U.S. will have more shared strategic interests than differences in the Middle East for the next 10 years.

About the Author:

Jacob L. Shapiro is  Director of Analysis for Geopolitical Futures, GPF

Related articles

Avoiding the Next Direct Confrontation Between Israel and Iran
22.05.2018
It will be wrong to assume that Iran will give up its strategic objectives because of the Israeli response, but it will have to adjust their implementation to the concerns and interests of other

Expert: 
Oded Eran

Category:
Expert Opinions
Report: Russia in the Middle East: The Harmony of Polyphony
21.05.2018
The Middle East is increasingly important in the fabric of international relations. Developments there have greater consequences for the rest of the world than in the Cold War era. This is not

Category:
Reports
Why Iran Is Most Likely to Be in the Focus of Israel-Russia Dialogue on Syria
17.05.2018
Over the past few months, Iran has greatly extended its foothold on Syrian territory by creating a sizeable military presence, also close to the Israeli border. These Iranian bases, with their

Expert: 
Shlomo Avineri

Category:
Expert Opinions