The author is an anti-militarist activist and expert who writes for the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto. Translation by Workers World Managing Editor John Catalinotto.
May 21 — Force your opponent to stretch too far and lose his balance, then take him down. This is no judo maneuver, but the Rand Corporation’s plan to combat Russia.
The Rand Corp. is the most influential U.S. think tank, with a staff of thousands of experts. It presents itself as the world’s most reliable source of intelligence and political analysis for the U.S. rulers and their allies.
Rand prides itself on having contributed to the long-term strategy that enabled the United States to emerge victorious from the Cold War, forcing the Soviet Union to consume its economic resources in its strategic confrontation with the U.S.
This model inspired the new plan, “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia,” published by Rand. The plan examines “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.” (rand.org)
According to its analysts, Russia remains a powerful competitor of the United States in some fundamental fields. For this reason, the U.S. must pursue, together with its allies, an overall longterm strategy that exploits Russia’s vulnerabilities.
Rand then analyzes various ways to force Russia to lose its balance and indicates for each way the probability of success and the benefits, costs and risks for the U.S.
Rand analysts believe that Russia’s greatest vulnerability is economic, due to its high dependence on oil and gas exports, whose revenues can be reduced by increasing sanctions and increasing U.S. energy exports.
The aim is to reduce European imports of Russian natural gas, replacing them with liquefied natural gas transported by sea from other countries.
Another way to damage Russia’s economy over time is to encourage the emigration of qualified personnel, especially young Russians with a high level of education.
In the ideological and propaganda field, Rand advises encouraging internal protests, at the same time undermining the global image of Russia by expelling it from international forums and boycotting the international sporting events it organizes.
In the geopolitical field, arming Ukraine allows the U.S. to exploit Russia’s greatest external vulnerability. But this needs to be fine-tuned to keep Russia under pressure without provoking a major conflict in which Russia would prevail, because it is geographically at an advantage.
In the military field the U.S. can have high dividends, with low costs and risks, from the growth of the land forces of the European NATO countries working against Russia.
The U.S. can have high chances of success and benefits, with moderate risks, especially by investing more in strategic bombers and long-range attack missiles targeting Russia.
Exiting the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and deploying new intermediate-range nuclear missiles aimed at Russia in Europe gives the U.S. a high probability of success, but also entails high risks.
Rand analysts conclude that if the U.S. strategists calibrate each option to achieve the desired effect, Russia will end up paying a higher price than the U.S. Nevertheless, the U.S. will also have to invest large resources and subtract them from other programs. Rand predicts a further sharp increase in U.S./NATO military spending at the expense of social spending.
This is the future that the Rand Corporation, the most influential think tank of the deep state, proposes. Rand expresses the needs of the unelected center of real power held by the economic, financial and military oligarchies, presenting the strategic choices not only for the USA but for the entire West.
The “options” provided by the plan are, in reality, only variants of the war strategy itself, the price of which, in terms of sacrifices and risks, is paid by all the people.