(Brookings) (Co-authored with Jeremy Shapiro) The downing of a Russian jet by Turkish fighters has brought the dangers posed by Moscow's intervention in Syria into sharp relief. While the Russian and Turkish Presidents trade insults and display their competitive machismo, the world faces the prospect of a military crisis between Russia and NATO. Although we do not yet know what Russia's response will be, we can safely assume that it will not increase the prospects of peace and stability in Syria.
Cooler heads should put a stop to this escalatory spiral now. The United States should take immediate efforts not only to stop further conflict between Ankara and Moscow, but also to forge significantly greater cooperation between Russia and the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition. In so doing, Washington can both prevent incidents such as this one from recurring, and more effectively address the Syrian civil war and the fight against extremists there. […]
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