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Research Report

The United States, Russia, and Europe:: Trilateral Security Dialogue in the Absence of Strategic Partnership

Isabelle François
Copyright Date: Sep. 1, 2013
Published by: Atlantic Council
Pages: 25
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-2)

    This report is the result of a series of trilateral dialogue sessions between American, European, and Russian experts with some involvement of current and former officials from governments and international organizations, as well as participants from the Atlantic Council’s Young Atlanticist Program, and colleagues from the private sector. The project was funded by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.

    The Atlantic Council is grateful for the contributions of Ellen Tauscher, Rose Gottemoeller, Celeste Wallander, Claudio Bisogniero, Hans Binnendijk, Elaine Bunn, Robert Hunter, Paul Fritch, Jules Silberberg, Michael Kofman, Andrew Kuchins, Dean Wilkening, Matt Rojansky, Jack Segal, Jordan Becker,...

  2. (pp. 5-8)

    In the summer of 2013, despite a series of setbacks and disappointments during President Barack Obama’s first term and with mixed results from the so-called “reset” policy, a renewed sense of engagement dominated the US–Russian political dialogue for a couple of months with a series of high-level meetings. These efforts did not yield the expected results and the pathologies of the US-Russia relationship proved stronger. Twenty years after the end of the Cold War, Washington and Moscow have yet to overcome the outdated Cold War paradigm of “mutual assured destruction.” The bilateral relationship is still dominated by a security...

  3. (pp. 9-13)

    The inherent limits of the United States/NATO-Russia partnership should not overshadow the successes and genuine efforts at cooperation. Over the past two decades, cooperation on various security projects has led to concrete results and significant agreements.

    On the NATO-Russia agenda, two significant cooperative successes should guard against undue pessimism. In the area of counterterrorism, the NRC presided over the development of Cooperative Airspace Initiative (CAI). In the aftermath of 9/11, this NATO-Russia initiative was launched to prevent terrorist attacks using civilian aircraft by sharing information on movements in NATO and Russian airspace by coordinating interceptions of renegade aircraft. Significant cooperative...

  4. (pp. 14-18)

    In 2012, analyzing global trends with a 2030 horizon, the US National Intelligence Council offered potential scenarios pointing to an unparalleled transformation coming with unprecedented breadth, speed, and complexity, and indicated that none of them is pre-ordained.15 The Atlantic Council went a step further in defining what that meant for the United States and how the Obama administration should position itself to meet the global challenges ahead.16 This proactive approach reflects American affinity toward embracing change. It calls for more collaborative forms of leadership at home and abroad, and reaffirms the importance of the United States’ transatlantic ties, despite the...

  5. (pp. 19-19)

    The past twenty years have been marked by a series of setbacks and disappointments in the dialogue among the United States, Europe, and Russia. For the US, Russian, and European relations to develop in the long run there has to be a genuine move by the top leadership toward engagement and readiness to address disagreements within national constituencies—optimists and pessimists—speaking up for engagement. At this stage, the trilateral dialogue appears to be a rather sick patient and the future seems uncertain at best.

    The diagnosis is clear. The United States, Europe, and Russia inherited shaky premises from the...