Bringing Back the Russo-American Axis
It’s high time for Obama and Putin to put aside the differences that dog them, and focus on destroying the Islamic State.
Terrorist attacks in France, Lebanon, Mali, and in the skies over Egypt, highlight a common interest among civilized nations to defeat the Islamic State (IS). This global scourge demands an unusual coalition of the willing — one that requires cooperation between Russia and the United States, despite the glaring differences between them.
Indeed, America’s allies are watching Washington’s relationship with Moscow closely. In an address last month, French President François Hollande urged both governments to overcome their “sometimes diverging interests.” He has also engaged in shuttle diplomacy between both nations in hopes of building an anti-IS coalition.
While intense disagreements between the White House and the Kremlin persist, stemming from Russia’s incursions into Ukraine and the focus of its involvement in Syria, neither country should shy away from collaboration when their interests align. As the old adage goes, “there are no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests.”
The challenge for Washington and Moscow will be distinguishing areas where their common interests outweigh their antagonistic disputes.