Henry Kissinger explained this morning why he sees the possibility of cooperation between the U.S. and Russia on Syria and in the Middle East: They share a common enemy, radical Islam.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s “biggest security problem is radical Islam,” the former secretary of state argued, so he does want the U.S. to “look totally irrelevant in the Middle East, because otherwise he would be stuck dealing with” the problem himself. Kissinger explained he also saw specific “selfish interests” for both the U.S. and Russia in security cooperation.
In his appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation, Kissinger conceded he had been “in a minority” of people who believed from the beginning the goal in Syria was not the removal to Assad, because he saw it from the beginning as a civil war between Alawite and Sunni factions in the country. “Total victory for one side would lead to the high probability of a massacre,” he said. Thus, he argued, he’s happy to see negotiations that might produce “some sort of peace process.”