For the RAND think tank, the stalemate in the conflict in Ukraine would directly threaten US interests

Created in 1948 by the American aircraft manufacturer Douglas, the Rand Corporation is today one of the most influential think tanks in the United States, particularly with regard to military and international affairs, especially since unlike other other major American think tanks, it is not politically affiliated. In fact, his analyzes are most often evaluated with great attention by both American political decision-makers and the Pentagon. Since the start of the Ukrainian crisis, the Rand has produced a large number of often very relevant analyzes at a sustained pace. The latest analysis published on January 27 deserves special attention. Indeed, beyond the tactical, economic and political analyses, it studies the risk of the Ukrainian conflict getting bogged down or spreading through a particular critical given, namely the political, economic and strategic interests of the United States. United.

As we have already discussed in previous articles, the risk of a stalemate in the conflict, or even of its extension beyond the Ukrainian theater, has increased significantly in recent months, in particular since Moscow has undertaken to change its approach to this war, passing from a purely tactical management at the beginning of the conflict, with very questionable results, to a strategic management based on the objective assets of the Kremlin, namely its defense industry and its demographic superiority. Rand's analysis, titled " Avoiding a Long War – US Policy and the Trajectory of the Russian-Ukrainian Conflict“, is carrying out a methodical study of all the foreseeable risks and consequences linked to the probable stalemate of the conflict, while now neither Moscow nor Kyiv seem able to impose themselves militarily and durably on their adversary.

According to the Rand Corp. the risk of Russia using non-strategic nuclear weapons is far from negligible

Firstly, the analysis studies all the parameters resulting from a probable stalemate in the conflict, with the two main major risks, which are the use of nuclear weapons far from being ruled out by American analysts, and the extension of the conflict towards a confrontation between NATO and Russia, again considered much more plausible than generally accepted by specialists speaking in the media on this subject, even if a conventional direct confrontation between Russia and NATO would not be to the advantage of the first. Three other analytical keys are also defined, namely the question of territorial control for the two belligerents, the question of extending the conflict over time and, finally, the different options for bringing this conflict to an end. Following this, each of these criteria is studied with regard to its consequences on American interests. Without paraphrasing the analysis which is in free access, it is clear that for the United States, the risks and constraints resulting from a stalemate in this conflict, greatly exceed the few potential benefits of a conflict which would come to last. , over almost the entire analysis spectrum. In other words, while the United States must prepare for a political, economic and perhaps military confrontation with China, it has no interest in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict lasting, and even less in it does stretch.

According to this same analysis, however, there is also no question of giving in to Russia, by reducing or eliminating military support for Kyiv, the consequences of such a decision also being to the detriment of Washington and its allies. Europeans, constituting an indisputable victory for Vladimir Putin and the Russian regime. To meet this challenge, the authors of the analysis recommend several approaches, the first of which is a profound change in the organization of military and strategic support in Kyiv. Indeed, the methodology used so far by Washington and the entire Western bloc, is based on sequential support, in order to respond in the short term to the needs expressed by the Ukrainian armies in order to oppose the Russian armies. If this approach has allowed an incremental progression of the means transferred to Ukraine, going from simple anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles at the start of the conflict, to now heavy tanks and high-tech anti-aircraft and artillery systems, without causing any extension of the conflict, it is now reaching its limits.

The support doctrine employed by Washington since the start of the conflict has made it possible to switch from the delivery of Javelin and Stinger missiles to that of Abrams heavy tanks, Bradley IFVs and Patriot anti-aircraft systems without triggering an escalation between Russia and NATO. However, it now represents a handicap in the face of Russia's new medium-term strategic approach.

The rest of this article is for subscribers only -

Full-access articles are available in the “ Free Items“. Flash Articles are accessible in full version for 48 hours. Subscribers have access to the full Analyses, News and Synthesis articles. Articles in Archives (more than 2 years old) are reserved for Premium subscribers.

All subscriptions are non-binding.

More information