Russia and the United States are two world superpowers. However, ideologically both are inherently different. Russia still has its communist leanings in spite opening itself up to the world. During the Cold War, both countries were against each other and supported their respective allies. The Soviet Union, as it was formerly called backed Communist led regimes forging relationships with China and North Korea.
The country has been labelled as a long time enemy of the United States wherein it has only had friendly relations since the nineties. Russia’s role in maintaining global peace is far from the usual definition based on Western perspectives. The country has been known to secretly supply weapons to its Communist allies since the 1970s. For example, they supported the Communist party in the Vietnam War, which was a catastrophe for the United States.
The war erupted in the Indochina region affecting Cambodia and Myanmar. Significantly, the United States wanted to inhibit the growth of Communism and the war was a disaster politically and militarily. The United States withdrew from Vietnam with more casualties in comparison to its efforts in the Second World War.
As such, the country has since then been careful to send troops and become directly involved in wars. But this is highly dependent on their elected President, which impacts their foreign policy. Their involvement in the Iraq war still showed their stance against regimes wherein they made considerable efforts to depose Saddam Hussein. Russia on the other hand, quietly supports its allies and not taking on the “policing” efforts applied by the United States. The country has earned a reputation of “policing” into world affairs creating a dilemma in their efforts and involvement.
Today, the United States names Russia, China, Iran and North Korea as countries with the highest threats to their security. This may be due to the fact that Russia has nuclear weapons. As for the rest, they are suspected to have nuclear or chemical weapons in their arsenal. This may only be based on speculation but Russia has contributed to global peace by becoming a check and balance for the United States. Significantly, if the United States were the only ones to have nuclear weapons then they would be a threat to the entire world. As such, the use and care for nuclear weapons are under a deal made with the United Nations as both countries are part of the Security Council.
During the invasion of Kuwait, the Soviet Union was critical of Saddam’s regime and supported a resolution on authorizing military force. However, the Soviet Union was still assisting Saddam militarily which undermines the country’s diplomatic objectives. As such, Russia does not have the same anti-regime stance that the United States has which is why many are now questioning its role over Syria. In the Iraqi war the country did not send troops nor support it condemning the United States for starting an oil war. Furthermore, Russia asked for sanctions to be removed in Iraq but the United States refused it. Since then, the country has established its ties with Iraq only meeting with them after a formal government has been elected.
In terms of fighting terrorism, Russia is aware of the global problem wherein domestically they have had to contend with Chechen rebels. Other than its role in the United Nations, the country has not aggressively moved to stop wars in the same way Americans have. They normally course this action with the United Nations wherein the country continues to support its age old allies.
This explains their presence in Syria wherein they are actively involved to improve their global reputation. The country wants to be known again as a military power and at the same time an advocate of peace. Their involvement is also purposeful since they are also fighting the Chechen rebels which have joined the Syrian civil war.