International Order & Conflict

U.S.-Russia Military-to-Military Dialogue

A joint effort by senior retired military leaders from the U.S. and Russia seeking to de-escalate strategic conflict and address pressing international security issues
Project Info

Official military ties between the United States and the Russian Federation were formally disrupted in 2016 and remain limited to sporadic high-level consultations and intermittent operational deconfliction in war-torn regions. Against the backdrop of the lingering geopolitical divide between these two powerful nuclear nations, such lack of regular inter-military communications increases the risk of misunderstanding, miscalculation, and inadvertent strategic conflict escalation.

The U.S.-Russia Military-to-Military Dialogue is a Track 2 initiative that helps close this gap through regular, informal discussions on bilateral relations and pressing international security issues among senior retired Russian and American military officers. Aiming to develop trust and better mutual understanding as well as initiate practical policy ideas, the discussions cover a variety of topics ranging from personal combat experiences and sharing views on common historic events, to outstanding policy tasks in such areas as strategic stability, arms control, WMD nonproliferation, cyber security, and major regional conflicts where Russia, United States and their respective partners have vital stakes.

Dialogue participants engage with issue-focused experts and policy-making communities aiming to catalyze breakthrough solutions to select critical challenges.

The Military-to-Military Dialogue was initiated by the EastWest Institute and relaunched at the Stimson Center in 2020.

The Dialogue is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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