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Russia's Questionable Counterterrorism Record

Anna Borshchevskaya

Also available in العربية

Foreign Affairs

November 23, 2017


Moscow's actions suggest it will never be an honest broker or reliable partner for the West in combating terrorism.

In theory, Russia and the United States are on the same side in the war on terrorism. Both have suffered Islamist extremist attacks on their own soil, and both oppose the Islamic State. President Obama often stated he was ready to work with Russia in Syria and in June 2016 proposed a military partnership. And President Trump has consistently said that he welcomes President Vladimir Putin's help against ISIS. On November 11, they confirmed their determination to defeat ISIS in Syria in a joint statement, and ten days later they discussed counterterrorism cooperation over the phone. Yet such optimism about working with Russia on terrorism is misguided. From Syria to Afghanistan, Putin has done more to encourage terrorism than fight it, with Moscow maintaining ties to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and the Taliban...

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