Politics

The U.S. Unveils Plans On How To Weaken & Disintegrate Russia

Fuad Muxtarlı Review 30 May 2019
The U.S. Unveils Plans On How To Weaken & Disintegrate Russia

The world-renowned think tank RAND Corporation presented Washington with a series of recommendations on how to defeat Russia in the ongoing hybrid war and there are truly amazing points among them.

A month after the publication, the Russian Defense Ministry reacted publicly to the summary of the RAND report that serves the US government and the U.S. Department of Defense and relevant structures.

This program document by the think tank about the U.S. “deep state” is called “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia. Assessing the impact of cost-imposing options” and includes measures necessary for this and an assessment of their efficiency.

This brief summarizes a report that comprehensively examines nonviolent, cost-imposing options that the United States and its allies could pursue across economic, political, and military areas to stress - overextend and unbalance -Russia’s economy and armed forces and the regime’s political standing at home and abroad.

Some of the options examined are clearly more promising than others, but any would need to be evaluated in terms of the overall U.S. strategy for dealing with Russia, which neither the report nor this brief has attempted to do.

On the night of May 29, the existence of a strictly logical and comprehensive American strategic program for the weakening and "burial" of Russia by tearing out its resources without limits was commented on Zvezda TV channel by Andrei Ilnitsky, adviser to the Russian defense minister.

According to the advisor to Sergey Shoigu, for Americans, “the priority and debut scheme is Ukraine, they are actively starting to look at the Caucasus, they keep Belarus in focus, they will continue to stir Syria”, build a “destabilizing arc” from the Black Sea to the Baltic States, squeeze the Russian military from Transdniestria, to play on the contradictions between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

In addition, the outline of the report proposes to weaken Russia by stimulating the migration of qualified personnel and educated youth from the country.
This suggests that education - the struggle for the minds - should be in focus, because it is a matter of national security, stressed Ilnitsky.

In general, he noted, a package of measures is proposed in order to “break our plans and deprive us of our vision for tomorrow”, destroy ideology, and stir up conflicts in the post-Soviet space.

Why is this done?

It took so long for the Russian Defense Ministry before it drew the attention of the general public to this revealing US document that was originated in the intellectual upper ranks of the American establishment. Perhaps because the mind doesn’t understand Russia, it’s impossible to measure it with a common yardstick and another certificate of forthcoming death written out for it will have the same fate as all previous ones. Perhaps, however, in the XX century, Russia was twice on the verge of death, and the third time in the XXI century it cannot survive.

Due to the fact that the majority of Russian citizens have not yet fully realized that they live in a country that is at war for its sovereignty (because for the time being this is a hybrid war, and it is fought against half-heartedly) and that many are still (despite the sanctions, Ukraine, and so on) they are good to the United States, you must run through the abbreviated text of the report published on the website of the RAND corporation.

Probably, then the naivety of fellow citizens, that America wants them well, will be at least a little less, a Russian news agency Tsargrad reports.
RAND corporation experts are convinced that "Russia remains a strong country, which still manages to compete with the U.S. in several key areas."

That's why they suggested nonviolent, costly options that the U.S. and its allies could use in the economic, political, and military spheres to exert- by excessive expansion and imbalancing the economy and armed forces of Russia, the political situation of the regime at home and abroad. A lot of recommendations are offered; Washington’s choice is big.

History repeats itself

The preface to the published document stipulates that the proposed measures "are based on the concept of long-term strategic competition, used during the Cold War, which was partly developed by RAND" and was to force the USSR to spray its limited resources in which the U.S. had advantages. The same trick they want to use again.

The economic, geopolitical, ideological, informational and military options offered by RAND experts are designed to weaken Russia, slow down its development, and create a hard life for the people in the hope that it will be the fate of tsarist Russia and the USSR. These "options" we now consider.

Options, options...

The most important (remember, what efforts are being made by the U.S. to thwart the Russian-European project Nord Stream - 2) in the ongoing hybrid war, RAND considers restricting energy exports from Russia, as the reduction in revenues from oil and gas sales will hit the budget and the military expenses.

Achieving this goal involves increasing the U.S. energy exports themselves, manipulating oil and gas prices, forcing European countries not to buy them from Russia. The report's authors state that the risk for the U.S. itself is minimal and this is beneficial for them.

The introduction of deeper and more comprehensive economic and financial sanctions against Russia was also recommended, although in this case, there are “significant risks” for the U.S. as well.

RAND points to the need to pursue Russia's intellectual impoverishment, encouraging the migration of “skilled labor” and “well-educated youth” from it, but this policy, they warned, would not give a quick effect.

Among geopolitical measures to weaken Russia, the provision of lethal weapons to Ukraine is put in the first place, but experts from RAND are calling not to go too far in order to “not provoke a wider conflict” in which Russia, due to its territorial proximity to Ukraine “will have significant benefits."

It is Ukraine that is prepared for the fate of the main foreign policy factor of weakening Russia, since the report’s drafters do not advise Washington to use practically defeated terrorists in Syria for this, not to create illusions about “promoting liberalization of Belarus”, which “probably will not succeed and could provoke a tough Russian response”, which, in turn, can lead to “a general deterioration of the security situation in Europe and a failure for U.S. policy”.

RAND does not advise the Trump administration to try to push Russia out of the South Caucasus, which will be “difficult to accomplish because of geography and history”, as well as from Central Asia. There, it will be “very difficult” to do this; and it can be “disproportionately expensive” for the U.S. and at the same time, it will not be able to seriously and economically bleed Russia. Transdniestria is also recommended to be left alone.

If in the unpublished part of the report, it is not specifically noted that these points should be ignored, which the adviser to Shoigu believes in expecting the machinations of the U.S. in these regions, a very curious situation arises: Russians should fight Russians in the interests of the Americans... Russians who consider themselves Ukrainians and this is a sensation.

Recommendations of RAND regarding ideological and informational measures to destabilize and weaken Russia, if again there is no point in the report without banknotes to ignore them, they are unlikely to be much liked by the State Department and the note-based human rights activists.

They were advised not to find fault with the imperfections of the Russian elections, because they had little influence on them, not to provoke the authorities to take tough measures against opponents or to divert public attention to the anti-Western foreign policy.

They advise not to get involved in exposing Russian corruption and not to be zealous in promoting the idea that the interests of its people are alien to the Russian government. And not at all because the Russian authorities are flawless, but because the report’s authors fear that Moscow’s response to these incitements may be unpredictable and harmful to the interests of the West, which makes such a policy “very risky.”

Reading between the lines, you come to the conclusion that the analysts of RAND just need Russia, which is bent under corruption burden, a country that has turned its back on its people, who, because of their hard life, do not want to protect it at a critical moment when the comprador “elite” mature for her "exhaustion" by Americans.

Military measures - minor

RAND advises Washington to actively push Russia from the air and in space: Placing bombers within the easy defeat of key Russian strategic objectives has a high probability of success and will certainly attract the attention of Moscow and cause concern to Russia; the costs and risks associated with this option are small, since the bombers are based outside the coverage area of most Russian ballistic and ground cruise missiles.

Moving even closer to the targets in Russia, American fighters “obviously worry Moscow even more,” but in this case “the probability of success is low and the risks are higher.

American analysts are proposing to draw Russia into an arms race, but not overdo it: “Deploying additional tactical nuclear weapons in Europe and Asia can increase Russia's concern so much that it will significantly increase investment in its air defense assets. Combined with the option of placing bombers, this has a high probability of success, but the deployment of more such weapons can lead to Moscow responding in ways that are contrary to the interests of Washington and its allies.”

The use of ballistic missiles for military harassment in Russia is recognized as the “least effective” way to harm Russia because of its ability to respond. In addition, “the financial cost of the nuclear arms race is likely to be as high for the U.S. as it is for Russia, probably higher”, so Moscow should be weakened by other methods.

One of them recognizes "the expansion of the positions of the U.S. and allied naval forces and their presence in Russian regions of operation", which can "force Russia to increase its naval investments, diverting investments from potentially more dangerous areas."

However, the drafters of the report express doubt that Russia will be able to unleash the enormous costs of creating a true ocean fleet, and they warn that “actions in the Black Sea are politically and logistically more difficult for the US Navy than for the Russian Navy; it is also more dangerous for the former in case of conflict.”

RAND believes that "an increase in the U.S. forces in Europe, an increase in the ground potential of the European members of NATO and the deployment of a large number of NATO forces on the border with Russia are likely to have only a limited effect to over-stress Russia."

At the same time, “large-scale deployment on the borders of Russia would increase the risk of conflict with Russia, especially if it was perceived as a challenge to Russia's positions in the east of Ukraine, in Belarus or in the Caucasus.”

At the same time, it is concluded that the deployment of American missiles in Europe after the U.S.’s withdrawal from the relevant treaty with Russia will most likely cause Russia's response, potentially involving significant resources or, at least, diverting significant resources from other defense spending, although it is difficult to estimate what proportion will be spent on defensive capabilities compared to offensive or retaliatory.

The report's authors recommend “additional investments in new technologies to counter the Russian air defense,” which, in their opinion, “can significantly improve defense and deterrence, while at the same time, forcing Russian investments in countermeasures to increase.”

Wherein investing in more revolutionary next-generation technologies can have an even greater effect. RAND believes that Russia's overvoltage task should not be placed primarily on the army or even on the U.S. military as a whole, since “Russia's most promising over-voltage routes - those that have the most benefit, the least risk, and the greatest probability of success - most likely go beyond military sphere.

Tasks for the army

Since Russia does not seek military parity with the U.S., it may simply “not respond to some U.S. military actions,” and they “may end up being more costly for the U.S. than for Russia.” Nevertheless, RAND offers the American army to think about the three sets of problems in the light of a long-term confrontation with Russia.

First, “the U.S. army must restore its linguistic and analytical experience on Russia,” and since “Russia is a long-term threat; the army needs to develop human capital in order to participate in this strategic competition.”

Second, it is necessary to increase funding for a number of conventional and “more futuristic weapons systems”.

Third, “strengthening the U.S. position on containment in Europe and building up the U.S. military potential... should go hand in hand with any movement to disperse Russian forces, as a way to insure themselves against the chance of escalating tensions in relations with Russia into conflict.”

What conclusions to draw from?

Thus, it is proposed to focus on economic and financial sanctions; military measures should be insured. The struggle to deplete Russia is expected to be long. Success in it depends on a combination of all the above factors, and victory should not overstrain the U.S.

This, in fact, is stated in the “conclusions” that crowns this analytical work: “The most promising options for “overstraining Russia” are those that directly relate to its vulnerabilities, anxieties and strengths, exploit weaknesses and undermine Russia's current advantages.

In this regard, the greatest vulnerability of Russia in any competition with the U.S. is its economy, which is relatively small and highly dependent on energy exports. The greatest concern of the Russian leadership is related to the stability and longevity of the regime, and the strongest sides of Russia are in the military and information spheres.”

Well, the published part of the report ends in a way that is unthinkable for its general spirit: if the interests of the U.S. and Russia coincide, they can cooperate. The document, as we see, gives a lot of sound, from the American point of view, recommendations.

Moreover, they are fairly truthful and often inconvenient for the U.S. military-industrial complex, the Congress and the current administration, who earn themselves enormous capital, including political capital, from confrontation with Russia.

This means that they can be ignored, even if the interests of the U.S. actually suffer. Therefore, the situation for Russia may actually be much more serious than is evident from the report.

Only one thing is absolutely obvious: the Americans intend to bring the Russians to its knees, they do not accept equal relations, and they will play for a long time. And the U.S., in the end, may turn out if Russia, which has everything in order, does not have a strong and healthy economy and the real national elite.

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