• Articles,  Defense One

    Breaking Down US-Russian Distrust With Time, Talk, and Meals

    A recent session of the long-running Dartmouth Conference shows how non-governmental dialogue can ease tense relations. I was a recent participant in the Dartmouth Conference, one of the few remaining Track 2 — that is, non-governmental — dialogues between the U.S. and Russia. Its results may be especially interesting in the wake of the recent victory of President-elect Donald Trump and for those paying close attention to the difficult relations between our two countries. The oldest dialogue of its kind, the Conference has for 56 years enabled senior American and Russian citizens to seek mutual solutions to our shared political and geostrategic challenges. The three-day symposium I attended in late October was the 146th…

  • Articles,  Washington Post

    A Bright Spot in U.S.-Russian Relations

    With the Trump administration soon entering office, it is important to highlight increasingly rare U.S.-Russian non governmental engagements. I recently participated in the Carnegie Endowment-supported “Task Force on Regional Conflicts.” The topic was Syria, the Middle East and Afghanistan. Its goal was to develop several joint recommendations to forward to each government for consideration. Delegations included ambassadors, businessmen and academics, and the participants all had worked on aspects of U.S.-Russian, Middle Eastern and Afghan affairs. A key observation was when groups armed with rigid talking points and preconceived, mistrustful perceptions initially meet, rarely is there any headway if the encounter is just for a few hours. For progress, such groups…