Four Reasons Why Russia is the 'Best Anti-Terrorist Ally' in the World

© Sputnik / Alexey Kudenko / Go to the mediabankView of the Metro Bridge from Vorobyovy Gory (Sparrow Hills) in Moscow
View of the Metro Bridge from Vorobyovy Gory (Sparrow Hills) in Moscow - Sputnik International
Any nation that is genuinely intent on degrading and destroying international terrorism, be that the United States or Great Britain, should turn to Russia, because no other country is better positioned to fight radical groups, including Daesh, Professor Stephen F. Cohen said in a recent interview on the John Batchelor Show.

"Russia is by far the best anti-terrorist state ally in the world that the United States could have," the American scholar said, adding that no other country in the world is better equipped or has more experience when it comes to counterterrorism.

Cohen mentioned four reasons that make Moscow a perfect partner in any anti-terrorism coalition. These include geographic location, diverse ethnic and religious population, as well as history and experience.

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"Russia has experienced more terrorism in the last 15 years than we have: the shooting down of airplanes, massive hostage taking, the blowing up of subways. It's been coping with this threat, which is within its own borders for years. In addition, Russia has been in the Middle East for centuries," professor detailed.

Cohen also noted that Russia "has the kind of intelligence that we don't have," citing the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings as a case in point. Russian intelligence agencies warned their American counterparts that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his brother Dzhokhar could have been radicalized. The US did not listen.

"We were warned and we did nothing about it. And the reason we did nothing about it was Cold War hostility," the analyst observed, referring to the increasingly strained relationship between the Kremlin and the West following the outbreak of the Ukrainian civil war and Crimea's democratic reunification with Russia.

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Indeed, instead of working together with Moscow to tackle international terrorism, many in the West blame Russia for everything that has gone wrong in Ukraine, Syria or Europe for that matter.

Earlier this week, Lord Lloyd Webber called Vladimir Putin's "unopposed meddling in Syria" the greatest single threat to peace, in both the United Kingdom and Europe, prompting Kim Sengupta, defense correspondent at the Independent to suggest that the world-famous composer "could have a second career as a stand-up comedian."

"One of the reasons for relations being so bad, however, has been fairly constant criticism of Russia by British ministers which many Western European diplomats find irritating as it hinders collective dialogue with Moscow, especially over Syria," the journalist added, calling for more cooperation with Russia on fighting terrorism.

For its part, Russian officials have urged the US-led coalition to join forces in Syria and fight Daesh together. Vladimir Putin mentioned a broad anti-terrorist front last week during a meeting with Russian Federation ambassadors and permanent envoys.

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