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RAND Suggests Army Options for Countering Russian Threat

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U.S. Army
Monday, July 15, 2019

A recent RAND Corp. report focused on responding to the threat of Russian aggression warns that big steps like increasing U.S. land forces in Europe or increasing the size and frequency of exercises could increase the risk of conflict.

Similarly, developing intermediate-range missiles, investing in new technologies to counter Russian air defenses and increasing long-range precision fires “could significantly improve defense and deterrence while compelling increased Russian investment in countermeasures,” says the report, called “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia: Addressing the Impact of Cost-Imposing Options.”

There are steps recommended for the Army. Rebuilding linguistic and analytical expertise would be helpful to respond to the long-term Russian threat. The Army could spend more on futuristic systems to counter unmanned aerial and combat vehicles and could improve defensive posture in Europe “as a way of hedging against the chance of tensions with Russia escalating into conflict.”

The “most-promising” options could be directed at Russian “vulnerabilities, anxieties and strengths,” the report says. “Russia’s greatest vulnerability in any competition with the United States is its economy, which is comparatively small and highly dependent on energy exports,” it says. The greatest Russian anxiety is about the regime’s stability and durability. Its greatest strength comes from its military and information warfare capabilities.

The report can be downloaded here: https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB10014.html