A tale of two campaigns: U.S. and Russian military operations in Syria

A tale of two campaigns: U.S. and Russian military operations in Syria
// Pathways to Peace and Security. 2017. no 1(52) Special Issue: ADDRESSING TERRORISM, VIOLENT EXTREMISM AND RADICALIZATION (perspectives from Russia and the United States). Edited by Ekaterina Stepanova,. P. 163-170


DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2017-1-163-170


Abstract

Even in the absence of direct military and counterterrorist cooperation on Syria, both the United States and Russia have made progress on the battlefield without hampering the efforts of the other. On the one hand, the two countries have successfully prosecuted two parallel military campaigns in pursuit of their respective interests. De facto status of cobelligerents has forced Washington and Moscow to set up deconfliction mechanisms and restore limited military to military contacts under the Trump administration. On the other hand, it is increasingly difficult to keep the two campaigns separate, with more U.S. and Turkish forces operating in close proximity to those of Syria and Iran. The United States and Russia have been insufficiently empowered to control regional allies and impose their politics on the conflict. Crucial questions remain on Syria’s post-conflict settlement, the political future of the Assad regime, and what happens after the defeat of ISIS. Syrian state weakness, sectarian divide, and foreign interference provide both fuel and opportunity for the conflict to continue. Meanwhile, none of the external powers have a vision for how to stabilize this country or even extricate themselves from the battlefield.


Keywords

Syria, United States, Russia, ISIS, “Jabhat al-Nusra”, Iraq, Turkey, the Kurds, Iran


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For citation:

Kofman M. A tale of two campaigns: U.S. and Russian military operations in Syria. Pathways to Peace and Security, 2017, no 1(52) Special Issue: ADDRESSING TERRORISM, VIOLENT EXTREMISM AND RADICALIZATION (perspectives from Russia and the United States). Edited by Ekaterina Stepanova,, pp. 163-170. DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2017-1-163-170