Carnegie-RAND Workshop on the Future of the Greater Middle East and the Prospects for U.S.-Russian Partnership

by Olga Oliker, Natasha Yefimova

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The greater Middle East includes Central and South Asia and the Caucasus — a proximity that is one reason for Russian concern about the region. The war on terrorism has only heightened U.S. interests there. Can these former competitors work together for the benefit of all? The RAND Corporation and the Carnegie Moscow Center convened a workshop in Moscow in September 2003 to examine these issues. Participants discussed regional security issues, U.S. and Russian policy agendas for selected countries, and prospects for U.S.-Russian partnership. It was easier to identify common goals, interests, and viewpoints than to identify concrete areas for cooperation, in part because of the history of mutual distrust. Yet the two nations have cooperated on issues large and small, demonstrating that the problems can be overcome. Indeed, the common goals and needs make it imperative that they do so. Even modest cooperative activities, as long as they are built across the wide span of the region, may help the two nations to advance their own goals while building a better mutual relationship.

The workshop summarized in this paper was conducted jointly under the auspices of the RAND Center for Russia and Eurasia (CRE), the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy (CMEPP), and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Moscow Center.

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