Russia and the United States in the fight against terrorism (comparative threats and approaches, Syria, Afghanistan, countering violent extremism)

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Russia and the United States in the fight against terrorism (comparative threats and approaches, Syria, Afghanistan, countering violent extremism)
// Pathways to Peace and Security. 2017. No 1(52) Special Issue. Addressing Terrorism, Violent Extremism and Radicalization (perspectives from Russia and the United States). P. 13-54

DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2017-1-13-54

Abstract. The article provides a comparative analysis of terrorist and other violent extremist threats for Russia and the United States and of their respective approaches to countering and preventing terrorism, extremism and radicalization. In the context of the ongoing deep crisis in bilateral relations, hurdles and possibilities for the U.S.-Russia contacts and cooperation are explored in relation to countering transnational terrorism in Syria and Afghanistan and in the sphere of countering violent extremism. The article finds that while the Russian-American relations were sharply deteriorating since 2014 and have not shown a tendency to significant improvement with the change of the US administration in 2017, the Russian and the United States cases have objectively become more rather than less comparable when it comes to the overall national level of terrorist threat, as well as at least two types of terrorist threat at home and the main type of antiterrorist campaign abroad. One of the key findings is that no major conceptual, strategic and other fundamental differences in Russia’s and the U.S. approaches should prevent the two countries from exchanging select “good practices” in countering and preventing terrorism and violent extremism (including in Track-2 format) and from learning lessons from each other’s positive as well as negative experience. While prospects for direct and effective dialogue and cooperation on antiterrorism depend on the overall political climate and state of the relationship, the imperative for interaction, owever limited, in countering terrorism at the bilateral level and in multilateral formats, especially in relation to specific regions and “hot spots” that are as relevant to Russia as they are for the United States, can serve as one of the directions for normalization of broader U.S.-Russia relations.

Keywords: terrorism, extremism, radicalization, Russia, United States, antiterrorism, ISIS, Syria, Afghanistan, countering violent extremism (CVE), antiterrorism cooperation, United Nations


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For citation:
Stepanova E. Russia and the United States in the fight against terrorism (comparative threats and approaches, Syria, Afghanistan, countering violent extremism). Pathways to Peace and Security, 2017, No 1(52) Special Issue. Addressing Terrorism, Violent Extremism and Radicalization (perspectives from Russia and the United States), pp. 13-54. https://doi.org/10.20542/2307-1494-2017-1-13-54



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