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The Intelligence Review | volume 2 | issue 4 |

This volume is the product of a collaboration between the European Intelligence Academy (EIA) and the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief (CIB), a student-run initiative supported by the Department of Politics at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, United States. Four CIB analysts tackle some of the most pressing and timely questions confronting intelligence observers today. Topics in this volume include the possibility of a war with North Korea, and the rise of far-right militancy in the United States. The volume also includes an assessment of the impact of the Islamic State in the relations between Russia and the United States, and a discussion of Turkish politics and its effect on NATO's cohesion.


The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as a Factor in US-Russian Relations Madison Nowlin Relations between the United States and Russia have been tense for decades. However, the rise of Sunni armed extremist groups in the Middle East in our century, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has further complicated the relationship between the two countries. The ongoing instability in Syria has attracted the attention and intervention of both Moscow and Washington. They share common goals in Syria, such as defeating ISIS and increasing regional stability, but they often disagree on the methods to do so. Notably, Russia militarily and financially supports the government of Syrian President Bashar al- Assad, while the US supports Syrian rebel groups opposed to Assad’s rule, like the Free Syrian Army. Russia considers Assad to be a source of stability for Syria and sees the US as a source of instability. This stark difference in policy has caused a rise in tensions between the US and Russia. At the same time, the US and Russia have been forced to cooperate in areas where a combined effort has been necessary to achieve commonly desired goals. An example of this was seen in the joint US-Russian condemnation of Assad’s use of chemical weapons in Syria. Achieving the US and Russia’s goals in Syria could lead to increased regional stability and a decrease in the ISIS’s global presence. Therefore, based on recent evidence, it can be stated with high confidence that ISIS has further complicated US Russian relations while simultaneously forcing dialogue and cooperation. 37

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The Intelligence Review | vol. 1 | iss. 1 |