Three authors draw on field work and other research to assess the motives, prospects and threats linked to Central Asian jihadists, including the thousands who joined Islamic State and other violent extremists in the Middle East.
Ties between Moscow and Riyadh remain fragile. Saudi Arabia’s main concern is Iran, while Russia wants both investment and sway in the Middle East. Balancing their geopolitical and economic interests will not be easy.
U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed a desire to work with Russia to combat Islamic extremist movements in the Middle East. Despite the potential complications, such cooperation should be explored.
Some scholars say if IS is recognized or contained its “state” will “normalize” like the Bolsheviks’. But IS will not abandon its expansionist agenda or stop mass killings unless it is defeated outright.