The United States is developing a strategy to combat Russia, relying on an extensive network of think tanks. One of them is the RAND organization, which is developing programs to contain the Russian Federation on orders from the White House and the Pentagon. Recommendations from one of the studies seem to be starting to come true.
Russia is too strong
On October 13 this year, RAND published a report on the results of the headquarters game with a scenario of a military crisis, which was held in June 2018. As explained in the report, it was found necessary to make significant adjustments to NATO's strategy of actions in the Black Sea.
Russian military investments in the Black Sea theater of operations since 2014 have fundamentally changed the security map of the region [...] The game and related research have highlighted the relative strength of Russia's position
- believes RAND, considering it necessary "to expand the existing defense and deterrence measures."
In anticipation of the crisis, the United States and its allies must consider measures to address regional military imbalances
- explained in the report.
According to the results of the game, RAND believes that among the five Black Sea states that can become a potential buffer against Russia, in fact, one can hope for an active role of only one.
Five allies, but only one hope
As noted by RAND, Turkey's position is of fundamental importance "because of its naval capabilities and responsibility for the straits in accordance with the Montreux Convention." However, it will be "reluctant to resist Russian aggression" due to cooperation with Moscow in Syria and dependence on Russian gas imports.
Sofia, which is “vulnerable to [the impact of] Russian incentives and coercion,” may support the Kremlin, otherwise “infuriate Moscow,” which in particular will hurt the Bulgarian energy sector.
The military potential of Georgia and Ukraine has been significantly undermined as a result of conflicts with Russia
- RAND assesses the importance of the other two Black Sea countries, considering that their role is limited to a pro-Western position and participation in the exercises.
As a result, there is actually only one state left to bet on, RAND believes:
Romania is likely to be willing and able to contribute to a regional military initiative in the Black Sea. Plans for ongoing military procurement, modernization and expansion [of the army and fleet] can increase Romania's contribution to the naval industry.
RAND conclusions. Two options for the development of events. The direction of the arrow indicates the source -> target of the action. The thickness of the arrow indicates the number of interactions (from 1 to 9). The color of the arrow indicates that actions are preferable for NATO, blue - for the benefit of NATO, red - for harm.
Against the background of this withdrawal, the strengthening of the combat capabilities of the Romanian troops in the Black Sea began, the strengthening of Romania in military terms. On October 16, the US State Department decided on the possibility of selling to Bucharest two batteries of the Coastal Defense System (CDS) with Naval Strike Missile (NSM) anti-ship missiles. The deal should be worth $ 300 million.
The American authorities are attentive to the results of the staff games and promptly respond to the recommendations made by think tanks.