Strategic interaction between Russia and US in Syria: a game theoretic analysis from 2014-2022


  • Zohaib Gillani Area Study Centre for Africa, North and South America, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • Saira Aquil Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • Huda Rehman Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY), United States.



Middle East, Syrian conflict, Nash equilibrium, game theory, zero-sum game, regime change, strategic preferences, strategic interest, regional dominance


The strategic interests of Russia and the US clash in the Syrian conflict. Moscow’s policy in Syria aims for the Assad government to remain in power, whereas the US policy seeks to bring a regime change in Syria by toppling the Assad government. The competition and cooperation between Russia and the US in the Middle Eastern region are quite complex and reflect a tussle for regional dominance. A game theoretic analysis is conducted for the interaction between two great powers to examine the strategies opted by both players in the case of the Syrian civil war. This paper analyses the role of Russian and American regional policy objectives in Syria from 2014 to 2022. This study considers the cause-and-effect relationship in the regional supremacy of Russia and the US and studies them as independent variables. The conflict in policy goals of both powers in the Syrian conflict is taken as the dependent variable. The methodology applied in this paper is game theory because it explains cause-and-effect phenomena in a systematic and detailed manner. The game between Russia and the US is to achieve maximum foreign policy objectives in Syria, which is concluded as a zero-sum game from 2014-2022.


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How to Cite

Gillani , Z., Aquil, S., & Rehman, H. (2023). Strategic interaction between Russia and US in Syria: a game theoretic analysis from 2014-2022. Liberal Arts and Social Sciences International Journal (LASSIJ), 7(1), 221–238.