other nongovernment experts, as appropriate. Resolution of U.S.-Russian disputes over legal issues such as liability could be greatly facilitated by a fuller and more direct dialogue between U.S. and Russian legal experts. Impasses are prolonged by the current state of affairs, in which lawyers for both sides operate with insufficient understanding of each other’s legal requirements, and complicated legal issues are too often negotiated in the absence of lawyers by policy makers who have only a limited grasp of the legal issues.
Such dialogue would also be useful in the area of security culture. U.S. and Russian lawyers and other experts could share “best practices” on the legal and regulatory frameworks, incentives, disincentives, and enforcement efforts necessary to foster disciplined, well-trained, and responsible custodians and protective forces and fully utilized and well-maintained security systems.
Lawyer-to-lawyer dialogue could facilitate both a more complete, nuanced, and contextual understanding of each side’s legal requirements and the development of creative solutions. Once progress in addressing the existing legal problems has been made, attention could profitably be given to, for example, those legal mechanisms—perhaps borrowed from best practices in other arenas—that could actively improve rather than merely unstop cooperation. Lawyer-to-lawyer dialogue should involve face-to-face meetings, but once the dialogue is established, it can be usefully supplemented with communication through the use of technologies such as videoconferencing and Web links.