“At a time where everybody is having to deal with the threat from Islam, we need Russia on board very much,” Parry said.
The traditional channels for cooperation between Russia and Europe through NATO have collapsed following the western response to the reunification of Crimea with Russia in March 2014, and Russian suspicions over continued NATO expansion.
The lack of Russia-NATO cooperation is “unfortunate” in light of the shared threat from terrorist groups like the Islamic State, Parry noted.
He described the challenges arising from Islamic extremism as “real threats” as opposed to threats from Russia “that have built up in the political mind.”
Following the July 2015 Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Ufa, Russia and Central Asian allies initiated discussions to address the spread of extremism, including in the North Caucasus.
In the past month, Russia has advanced plans to cooperate with Iran, Syria, and Turkey, key players on the ground combating Islamic State.
Rear Admiral Parry served in the British Navy for more than three decades and currently runs his own strategic forecasting firm in the United Kingdom.