cc. Manlio Dinucci analyses here a publication by a US think tank from April 2019. Russia will have read it – and certainly not adhered to it. It knows the strategy from years of experience – and has obviously changed its orientation. But the study also makes it clear that the US strategists don’t give a damn about the well-being of the Ukrainians – they are pawns on the chessboard of American geopolitics. They are still needed – they are paying the bill for this madness, just like the rest of Europe, which so thoughtlessly allows itself to be harnessed to the US-NATO cart.
The United States Strategic Plan against Russia was drafted three years ago by the RAND Corporation (il manifesto, 21 May 2019 “Rand Corp: How to overthrow Russia”). Washington headquartered Rand Corporation is “a global research organisation that develops solutions to political challenges”: it has an army of 1,800 researchers, and other recruited specialists from 50 countries speaking 75 languages, they are distributed in offices and other locations in North America, Europe, Australia, and the Persian Gulf. Rand’s US staff lives and works in over 25 countries.
The RAND Corporation, which defines itself as a “non-profit and a-partisan organisation”, is funded by the Pentagon, US Army and Air Force, National Security Agencies (CIA and others), Agencies of other countries, and powerful non-governmental organisations.
RAND Corp. boasts of having helped develop the strategy that allowed the United States to emerge victorious from the Cold War forcing the Soviet Union to consume its resources in a grueling military confrontation. The new plan designed in 2019 was inspired by this model: “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia”, which is forcing the opponent to extend excessively to unbalance and take it down. These are the main lines of attack outlined in RAND’s plan, on which the United States has actually moved in recent years.
First of all – the plan established – Russia must be attacked on the most vulnerable side, that of its economy heavily dependent on gas and oil export: for this purpose, trade and financial sanctions must be used, and at the same time, it must ensure that Europe decreases Russian natural gas import by replacing it with US liquefied natural gas.
In the ideological and informational field, it is necessary to encourage internal protests, and at the same time undermine the image of Russia on the outside.
In the military field, efforts must be made to ensure that the European NATO countries increase their forces in an anti-Russia function. The US may have a high probability of success and high benefits with moderate risks by investing more in strategic bombers, and long-range attack missiles directed against Russia. Deploying in Europe new intermediate-range nuclear missiles aimed at Russia gives them a high probability of success, but also involves high risks. Calibrating each option to obtain the desired effect – RAND concluded – Russia will end up paying the highest price in comparison with the US, but the US and its allies will have to invest large resources subtracting them from other purposes.
As part of this strategy – the RAND Corporation plan envisaged in 2019 – “providing lethal aid to Ukraine would exploit Russia’s greatest external vulnerability, but any increase in weapons and military advice provided by the US to Ukraine should be carefully calibrated to increase the costs for Russia without provoking a much wider conflict in which due to its proximity Russia would have significant advantages”.
It is precisely here – in what the Rand Corporation called “Russia’s greatest external vulnerability”, exploitable by arming Ukraine in a “calibrated way to increase costs for Russia – without provoking a much wider conflict” – that the break has occurred. Squeezed in the political, economic, and military grip that the US and NATO were increasingly tightening, ignoring the repeated warnings and proposals for negotiations by Moscow, Russia reacted with its military operation that destroyed in Ukraine over 2,000 military structures built and controlled not by Kyiv rulers but by US-NATO commands.
The article that reported the RAND Corporation’s plan three years ago ended with these words: “The plan envisaged options are in reality only variants of this war strategy, the price of which in terms of sacrifices and risks is paid by all of us”. We European people are paying for it now, and we will pay more and more dear if we continue to be expendable pawns in the US-NATO strategy. •
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On 8 March 2022, after having briefly published it online () the Manifesto made this article disappear overnight also from the print edition since I had refused to comply with the directive of the Ministry of Truth and asked to open a debate on the Ukrainian crisis. Thus, my long collaboration with this newspaper, in which I have published my column The Art of War for over ten years, ends.
Manlio Dinucci, Pisa, 10 March 2022
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