Prospects for the U.S.-Russia cooperation in the Middle East in the Trump era

Prospects for the U.S.-Russia cooperation in the Middle East in the Trump era
// 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. 171-181


DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2017-1-171-181


Abstract

The article discusses the rise and fall of expectations of improvement of the U.S.-Russia relations at the outset of the Trump administration and then analyzes how Washington’s and Moscow’s interests in the Middle East converge or diverge. The author argues that, despite the unlikelihood of any major U.S.-Russia rapprochement, Washington’s and Moscow’s interests in the Middle East either overlap or, at least, do not oppose each other (except regarding Iran). Moscow’s and Trump’s administration’s pragmatic, transactional view of foreign policy suggests it is possible for them to work together on the Middle East even though bilateral relations remain at odds in other areas. This, however, may not be sufficient to result in meaningful U.S.-Russian direct cooperation in the Middle East since there are other obstacles to it, including domestic constraints in the United States on cooperation with Russia and the readiness of some Middle Eastern governments to exploit the U.S.-Russia rivalry in their own interests. Even so, the U.S. and Russia’s support for many of the same governments in the Middle East and to fight against ISIL may serve to foster cooperation and limit confrontation between them in this region. Successful cooperation between the United States and Russia in the Middle East, in turn, could enhance the prospects for their cooperation elsewhere.


Keywords

U.S.-Russia relations, Middle East, Syria, Iraq, ISIL, Turkey, the Kurds, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Gulf Cooperation Council, Iran


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For citation:

Katz M. Prospects for the U.S.-Russia cooperation in the Middle East in the Trump era. 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. 171-181. DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2017-1-171-181