Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Washington's Playbook for Destabilizing Russia - Part 2 - The Military Options

In part 1 of this two-part posting, we looked at RAND's recommended non-military cost-imposing options that could destabilize Russia and remove it as a threat to Washington's global hegemony and both reestablish and reaffirm the unipolar world.  We examined three cost-imposing options; economic, geopolitical and ideological/informational.  In part 2, we will look at RAND's recommended military cost-imposing options as published in this research brief:


...keeping in mind that RAND is heavily subsidized by the United States government (aka American taxpayers) as shown here:



Let's look at the three main military cost-imposing options:

1.) Air and space cost-imposing options which includes three main options and their suboptions as follows:


a.) Changing air and space force posture and operations which includes the reposturing of bombers within easy striking distance of key Russian targets, reposturing of fighters so that the are closer to their targets, deploying additional tactical nuclear weapons to locations in Europe and Asia and reposition of U.S. and allied ballistic missile defense systems to better engage Russian ballistic missiles.


b.) Increasing areospace research and development by developing new weapons that play on Russia's fears of U.S. airpower capabilities and doctrines (full list of potential weapons can be found in the table below).  This would result in Moscow devoting more of its finite resources to counter these capabilities.


c.) Increasing air and missile components of the nuclear triad by breaking out of the nuclear arms control regime which would goad Russia into a costly arms race.


Here is a table showing the likelihood of success, benefits and costs/risks of each option:


2.) Maritime cost-imposing options which includes increasing US. and allied naval force presence in Russia's operating areas, increasing naval research and development efforts with the goal of developing new weapons which allow U.S. submarines to threaten Russian nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), increasing the size of the U.S. nuclear fleet to threaten Russia's SSBNs and deploying NATO forces in the form of long-range, land-based, anti-ship missiles which would drive up the cost of defending Russia's bases in Crimea.  All of these options would be used to entice Russia into changing its own strategy and overextending itself financially as it seeks to meet these options head-on.


Here is a table showing the likelihood of success, benefits and costs/risks of each option:


3.) Land and multidomain cost-imposition options which includes four main options and their sub options as follows:


a.) Increasing U.S. and NATO land forces in Europe which includes increasing U.S. forces in Europe, increasing the capabilities of European NATO member ground capabilities and the deployment of a large number of NATO forces on the Russian western borderlands.  The authors note that large-scale deployments on Russia's borders would increase the risk of conflict with Russia particularly if they challenge Russia's positions in eastern Ukraine (the Donbas), Belarus and/or the Caucasus.


b.) Increasing NATO exercises in Europe which includes increasing the size of U.S. participation, generating a mass mobilization of European NATO member forces, holding exercises on Russia's borders and holding exercises practicing counterattack or offensive scenarios.  These exercises could be perceived by Russia as an attempt to invade part of its territory (i.e. Kaliningrad) and could also be perceived as showing Russia that NATO is willing to consider offensive operations.  All of these options could well provoke higher levels of conflict with Russia.


c.) Withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty which includes the development of an intermediate-range missile which could either be deployed to Europe or not deployed to Europe.  Withdrawing from the treaty could prompt Russia to develop and deploy its own intermediate-range missiles, diverting substantial resources from its other defense spending.


d.) Incremental investments in new technologies to manipulate Russias risk perceptions to counter Russian air defences and increase U.S. long-range technologies.  The authors note that Russia has concerns about weapons based on new physical principles (i.e. directed energy weapons, electromagnetic weapons, genetic weapons and geophysical weapons) as shown here:


Investments in this option could risk strategic stability by threatening the security of Russia's leadership in a crisis situation.


Here is a table showing the likelihood of success, benefits and costs/risks of each option:


As you can well imagine, many of these options will appeal to the United States defense industry who would stand to benefit from untold billions of dollars in taxpayer funding.  Additionally, many of these options would only worsen the risk of a war with Russia which may not create the desired result of regime change that seems so important to Washington as Russians are driven to protect Mother Russia just as they did during the Nazi's Operation Barbarossa of 1941. We all know how that story ended, don't we?

Given that RAND is essentially a think-tank arm of Washington, we can pretty much assure ourselves that the non-military and military options recommended by RAND either have been or are being taken as a playbook for destabilizing Russia with the ultimate goal of removing Vladimir Putin from power, just as Joe Biden very clearly said recently, no matter how the mainstream media and the so-called fact checkers may be trying to reinterpret his comments:


  1. Washington's Playbook for Destabilizing Russia - Part 2 - The Military Options

    As mentioned before this is the next thing to a declaration of war. Russia may not have been really happy about this. The writers also seem oblivious to the fact that it is no longer 19970 when the USA is the dominant economic power.

    Watching the hysteria that we saw when Russia sent a couple of bombers or a few technicians to Venezuela was reveling. The Rand "analysts"' to be charitable, do not seem to understand that their major targets such as China and Russia or Iran have no incentive to sit passively by as the USA attacks them. Saddam Hussein did this and where is he now?

    Humm, I wonder how much time and money it would take to revive the violent side of the Puerto Rico Independence Movement?

    A couple of nuclear capable Russian aircraft in Venuzuela was enough to throw people in the the USA into panic. What happens when the Chinese gets berthing rights in Venuzuela and the Russians have a squadron or two of Tu-160 aircraft just outside of Caracas?

    The Rank Organization is almost as incompetent as the current denizens of the State Department whose level of incompetence is mind-boggling. Both seem to be in some fantasy world.

  2. Wow, A great paper. So far its ideas seem to have worked well. A Russian victory in Syria, a Europe that seems to be trying to commit suicide by sanctioning energy imports, and a lost war in Ukraine.

    Given the unrivaled US string of successes since the Iranian coup in the 1950's this seems to be in line.

  3. I just love reading these analyses written by desk jockeys who are highly unlikely to serve should war break out.

    With the recent coziness between Russia, Iran and China, I agree that China and Iran are highly unlikely to stand by while the United States takes aggressive actions.