From:    https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB10014.html

The American Regime’s Plan to Cause Russia to Disintegrate

RAND Corporation Report, 2019
⇊ 1 ⇊ Overextending and Unbalancing Russia
(Research Brief) — 2019
⇊ 2 ⇊ Extending Russia
(Competing from Advantageous Ground) — 2019
⇊ 3 ⇊ Weakening Germany, Strengthening the U.S.
(Main Text) — 2022
⇊ 4 ⇊ Cover Letter (Weakening Germany) — 2022
⇊ 5 ⇊ German Version (Thomas Röper) — 2022

Overextending and
Unbalancing Russia

Assessing the Impact of Cost-Imposing Options

by James Dobbins, Raphael S. Cohen, Nathan Chandler, Bryan Frederick, Edward Geist, Paul DeLuca, Forrest E. Morgan, Howard J. Shatz, Brent Williams.
Year:  2019

Related Topics:
  • Geopolitical Strategic Competition,
  • Military Command and Control,
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization,
  • Nuclear Deterrence,
  • Peacekeeping and Stability Operations,
  • Russia,
  • U.S.-European Relations
This brief summarizes a report that comprehensively examines nonviolent, cost-imposing 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.  Some of the options examined are clearly more promising than others, but any would need to be evaluated in terms of the overall U.S. strategy for dealing with Russia, which neither the report nor this brief has attempted to do.
Today’s United States suffers from many vulnerabilities — the financial crisis has caused a drop in living standards, regressive tax policies that have furthered that decline, a decreasing life expectancy, and increasing authoritarianism under Barack Obama’s and now Donald Trump’s rule.  Such vulnerabilities are coupled with deep-seated (if exaggerated) anxieties about the possibility of Russia-inspired political manipulation, loss of great power status, and even military attack.
Despite these vulnerabilities and anxieties, the United States remains a powerful country that still manages to be Russia’s peer competitor in a few key domains.  Recognizing that some level of competition with the United States is inevitable, RAND researchers conducted a qualitative assessment of “cost-imposing options” that could unbalance and overextend the United States.  Such cost-imposing options could place new burdens on the United States, ideally heavier burdens than would be imposed on the Russian Federation for pursuing those options.
The work builds on the concept of long-term strategic competition developed during the Cold War, some of which originated at RAND.  A seminal 1972 RAND report posited that the United States needed to shift its strategic thinking away from trying to stay ahead of the Soviet Union in all dimensions and toward trying to control the competition and channel it into areas of U.S. advantage.  If this shift could be made successfully, the report concluded, the United States could prompt the Soviet Union to shift its limited resources into areas that posed less of a threat.
The new report applies this concept to today’s Russia.  A team of RAND experts developed economic, geopolitical, ideological, informational, and military options and qualitatively assessed them in terms of their likelihood of success in extending Russia, their benefits, and their risks and costs.
Economic Cost-Imposing Measures
Expanding U.S. energy production would stress Russia’s economy, potentially constraining its government budget and, by extension, its defense spending.  By adopting policies that expand world supply and depress global prices, the United States can limit Russian revenue.  Doing so entails little cost or risk, produces second-order benefits for the U.S. economy, and does not need multilateral endorsement.
Imposing deeper trade and financial sanctions would also likely degrade the Russian economy, especially if such sanctions are comprehensive and multilateral.  Thus, their effectiveness will depend on the willingness of other countries to join in such a process.  But sanctions come with costs and, depending on their severity, considerable risks.
Increasing Europe’s ability to import gas from suppliers other than Russia could economically extend Russia and buffer Europe against Russian energy coercion.  Europe is slowly moving in this direction by building regasification plants for liquefied natural gas (LNG).  But to be truly effective, this option would need global LNG markets to become more flexible than they already are and would need LNG to become more price-competitive with Russian gas.
Encouraging the emigration from Russia of skilled labor and well-educated youth has few costs or risks and could help the United States and other receiving countries and hurt Russia, but any effects—both positive for receiving countries and negative for Russia—would be difficult to notice except over a very long period.  This option also has a low likelihood of extending Russia.
Economic Cost-Imposing Options Likelihood of Success
in Extending Russia
Benefits Costs and Risks
Expand U.S. energy production High High Low
Impose deeper trade and financial sanctions High High High
Increase Europe’s ability to import LNG
from sourcesother than Russia
Moderate High Moderate
Encourage emigration from Russia
of skilled labor and well-educated youth
Low Low Low
Geopolitical Cost-Imposing Measures
Providing lethal aid to Ukraine would exploit Russia’s greatest point of external vulnerability.  But any increase in U.S. military arms and advice to Ukraine would need to be carefully calibrated to increase the costs to Russia of sustaining its existing commitment without provoking a much wider conflict in which Russia, by reason of proximity, would have significant advantages.
Increasing support to the Syrian rebels could jeopardize other U.S. policy priorities, such as combating radical Islamic terrorism, and could risk further destabilizing the entire region.  Furthermore, this option might not even be feasible, given the radicalization, fragmentation, and decline of the Syrian opposition.
Promoting liberalization in Belarus likely would not succeed and could provoke a strong Russian response, one that would result in a general deterioration of the security environment in Europe and a setback for U.S. policy.
Expanding ties in the South Caucasus — competing economically with Russia — would be difficult because of geography and history.
Reducing Russian influence in Central Asia would be very difficult and could prove costly.  Increased engagement is unlikely to extend Russia much economically and likely to be disproportionately costly for the United States.
Flip Transnistria and expel the Russian troops from the region would be a blow to Russian prestige, but it would also save Moscow money and quite possibly impose additional costs on the United States and its allies.
Geopolitical Cost-Imposing Options Likelihood of Success
in Extending Russia
Benefits Costs and Risks
Provide lethal aid to Ukraine Moderate High High
Increase support
to the Syrian rebels
Low Moderate High
Promote liberalization in Belarus Low High High
Expand ties in the South Caucasus Low Low Moderate
Reduce Russian influence
in Central Asia
Low Low Moderate
Flipping Transnistria Low Low Moderate
Ideological and Informational Cost-Imposing Measures
Diminishing faith in the Russian electoral system would be difficult because of state control over most media sources.  Doing so could increase discontent with the regime, but there are serious risks that the Kremlin could increase repression or lash out and pursue a diversionary conflict abroad that might run counter to Western interests.
Creating the perception that the regime is not pursuing the public interest could focus on widespread, large-scale corruption and further challenge the legitimacy of the state.  But it is hard to assess whether political volatility and protests would lead to a more extended Russia—less able or inclined to threaten Western interests abroad—or to a Russia more inclined to lash out in retaliation or to distract, making this a high-risk option.
Encouraging domestic protests and other nonviolent resistance would focus on distracting or destabilizing the Russian regime and reducing the likelihood that it would pursue aggressive actions abroad, but the risks are high and it would be difficult for Western governments to directly increase the incidence or intensity of anti-regime activities in Russia.

Undermining Russia’s image abroad would focus on diminishing Russian standing and influence, thus undercutting regime claims of restoring Russia to its former glory.  Further sanctions, the removal of Russia from non-UN international forums, and boycotting such events as the World Cup could be implemented by Western states and would damage Russian prestige.  But the extent to which these steps would damage Russian domestic stability is uncertain.

While none of these measures has a high probability of success, any or all of them would prey on the Russian regime’s deepest anxieties and might be employed as a deterrent threat to diminish Russia’s active disinformation and subversion campaigns abroad.
Ideological and Informational
Cost-Imposing Options
Likelihood of Success
in Extending Russia
Benefits Costs and Risks
Diminish faith in the
Russian electoral system
Low Moderate High
Create the perception that the regime
is not pursuing the public interest
Moderate Moderate High
Encourage domestic protests
and other nonviolent resistance
Low Moderate High
Undermine Russia’s image abroad Moderate Moderate Moderate
Air and Space Cost-Imposing Measures
Reposturing bombers within easy striking range of key Russian strategic targets has a high likelihood of success and would certainly get Moscow’s attention and raise Russian anxieties;  the costs and risks of this option are low as long as the bombers are based out of range of most of Russia’s theater ballistic and ground-based cruise missiles.
Reposturing fighters so that they are closer to their targets than bombers as a way to achieve higher sortie rates to compensate for their smaller payloads would likely concern Moscow even more than reposturing bombers, but the likelihood of success is low and risks are high.  Because each aircraft would need to fly multiple sorties during a conventional conflict, Russian leaders would probably be confident that they could destroy many fighters on the ground and shut down their deployment airfields early on with few or no additions to their missile inventory.
Deploying additional tactical nuclear weapons to locations in Europe and Asia could heighten Russia’s anxiety enough to significantly increase investments in its air defenses.  In conjunction with the bomber option, it has a high likelihood of success, but deploying more such weapons might lead Moscow to react in ways contrary to U.S. and allied interests.
Repositioning U.S. and allied ballistic missile defense systems to better engage Russian ballistic missiles would also alarm Moscow but would likely be the least effective option because Russia could easily saturate current systems and any planned upgrades with a small percentage of its existing missile inventory, leaving many missiles still available to hold U.S. and allied targets at risk.
There are also ways to get Russia to extend itself in strategic competition.  In terms of benefits, such developments would exploit Moscow’s demonstrated fear of U.S. airpower capabilities and doctrines.  Developing new low-observable, long-range bombers, or simply adding significantly more of types that are already available or programmed (B-2s and B-21s) would be worrisome for Moscow, as would developing autonomous or remotely piloted strike aircraft and producing them in high numbers.  All options would likely incentivize Moscow to devote ever-greater resources to making its command and control systems harder, more mobile, and more redundant.
A key risk of these options is being drawn into arms races that result in cost-imposing strategies directed against the United States.  For example, investing in ballistic missile defense systems and space-based weapons would alarm Moscow, but Russia could defend against such developments by taking measures that would probably be considerably cheaper than the costs of these systems to the United States.
As for likelihood of success, some options are good cost-imposing strategies, but some—such as investing more in HARMs or other electronic warfare technologies—are clearly better than others, and some approaches should be avoided, such as those that focus on space-based weapons or ballistic missile defense systems.
The United States might goad Russia into a costly arms race by breaking out of the nuclear arms control regime,  but the benefits are unlikely to outweigh U.S. costs.  The financial costs of a nuclear arms race would probably be as high for the United States as they would be for Russia, perhaps higher.  But the more serious costs would be political and strategic.
Air and Space/Nuclear
Cost-Imposing Options
Likelihood of Success
in Extending Russia
Benefits Costs and Risks
Option 1: Changing air and space force posture and operations
Reposture bombers High Moderate Low
Reposture fighters Low Moderate High
Deploy additional tactical nuclear weapons High Low High
Reposition U.S. and allied ballistic
missile defense systems
Low Low Moderate
Option 2: Increasing aerospace research and development (R&D)
Invest more in low-observable aircraft Moderate Moderate Moderate
Invest more in autonomous
or remotely piloted aircraft
High Moderate Moderate
Invest more in long-range
strike aircraft and missiles
High High Moderate
Invest more in longer-range high-speed
antiradiation missiles (HARMs)
High Moderate Moderate
Invest more in new electronic
warfare technologies
Moderate Moderate Low
Focus on long-range, precision-guided
conventional missiles
(e.g., conventional prompt global strike)
Moderate Moderate High
Focus on space-based weapons Low Moderate High
Focus on “spaceplanes” Low to moderate Moderate High
Focus on small satellites Low Moderate High
Option 3: Increasing air and missile components of the nuclear triad
Break out of the nuclear arms control regime Low Moderate High
Maritime Cost-Imposing Measures
Increasing U.S. and allied naval force posture and presence in Russia’s operating areas could force Russia to increase its naval investments, diverting investments from potentially more dangerous areas.  But the size of investment required to reconstitute a true blue-water naval capability makes it unlikely that Russia could be compelled or enticed to do so.
Increasing naval R&D efforts would focus on developing new weapons that allow U.S. submarines to threaten a broader set of targets or enhance their ability to threaten Russian nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), which could impose anti-submarine warfare costs on Russia.  There are limited risks, but success depends on being able to develop these capabilities and on whether they are sufficiently capable of influencing Russian expenditures.
Shifting nuclear posture toward SSBNs would entail increasing the percentage of the U.S. nuclear triad assigned to SSBNs by increasing the size of that fleet.  While it might force Russia to invest in capabilities that can operate in a blue-water environment in two oceans and would reduce risks to U.S. strategic posture, the option is unlikely to entice Russia into changing its strategy and, thus, extending itself.
Checking the Black Sea buildup would involve deploying strengthened North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) anti-access and area denial over the Black Sea — perhaps in the form of long-range, land-based anti-ship missiles — to drive up the cost of defending Russian bases in Crimea and lower the benefit to Russia of having seized this area.  Russia would certainly mount a vigorous diplomatic and informational campaign to dissuade coastal NATO and non-NATO states from participating.  Also, operating in the Black Sea is politically and logistically more difficult for the U.S. Navy than the Russian Navy; it is also more dangerous for the former in a conflict.
Maritime Cost-Imposing Options Likelihood of Success
in Extending Russia
Benefits Costs and Risks
Increase U.S. and allied naval force
posture and presence
Moderate Moderate Low
Increase naval R&D efforts Moderate Moderate Moderate
Shift nuclear posture toward SSBNs Low Low Low
Check the Black Sea buildup Moderate Moderate Moderate
Land and Multidomain Cost-Imposing Measures
Increasing U.S. forces in Europe, increasing European NATO member ground capabilities, and deploying a large number of NATO forces on the Russian border would likely have only limited effects on extending Russia.  All the options would enhance deterrence, but the risks vary.  A general increase in NATO ground force capabilities in Europe—including closing European NATO member readiness gaps and increasing the number of U.S. forces stationed in traditional locations in Western Europe—would have limited risks.  But large-scale deployments on Russia’s borders would increase the risk of conflict with Russia, particularly if perceived as challenging Russia’s position in eastern Ukraine, Belarus, or the Caucasus.
Increasing the size and frequency of NATO exercises in Europe may help to enhance readiness and deterrence, but it is unlikely to prompt a costly Russian response unless the exercises also send risky signals. Large-scale NATO exercises held near Russia’s borders and exercises that practice counterattack or offensive scenarios could be perceived as showing the intent and willingness to consider offensive operations.  For example, a NATO exercise simulating a counterattack to retake NATO territory lost to advancing Russian forces might look like an exercise to prepare for an invasion of a piece of Russian territory, such as Kaliningrad.
Developing but not deploying an intermediate-range missile could bring Russia back into conformity with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty but could also prompt an acceleration of Russian missile programs.  Withdrawing from that treaty and building the missiles but not deploying them in Europe would add little to U.S. capabilities and would probably prompt Russia to deploy such missiles itself—and, perhaps, invest more in ballistic missile defense.  Taking the further step of deploying the missiles to Europe, assuming that NATO allies were willing, would also almost certainly prompt a Russian response, potentially involving substantial resources, or at least the diversion of substantial resources from other defense spending, though it is hard to assess what share would be directed toward defensive capabilities versus offensive or retaliatory ones.
Incremental investments in new technologies to counter Russian air defenses and increase U.S. long-range fires could significantly improve defense and deterrence while compelling increased Russian investment in countermeasures.  Investments in more-revolutionary, next-generation technologies could have even greater effects, given the Russian concerns about new physical principles, but depending on the capability, such investments could also risk strategic stability by threatening the Russian regime and leadership security in a crisis.
Land and Multidomain Cost-Imposing Options Likelihood of Success
in Extending Russia
Benefits Costs and Risks
Option 1:  Increasing U.S. and NATO land forces in Europe
Increase U.S. forces in Europe Moderate Moderate Moderate
Increase European NATO member ground capabilities Low High Low
Deploy large number of NATO forces on the Russian border Moderate Moderate High
Option 2:  Increasing NATO exercises in Europe
Increase the size of U.S participation Low Moderate Moderate
Generate a mass mobilization of European
NATO member forces
Low High Moderate
Hold exercises on Russia’s borders Moderate Moderate High
Hold exercises practicing counterattack
or offensive scenarios
Moderate Moderate High
Option 3:  Withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
Fund a missile development program without withdrawing Moderate Low Moderate
Withdraw and build missiles but do not deploy to Europe High Low Moderate
Withdraw, build missiles, and deploy to Europe High Moderate High
Option 4: Investing in new capabilities to manipulate Russian risk perceptions
Invest in incremental improvements in counter–anti-access
and area denial capabilities (e.g., enhanced Army Tactical
Missile Systems, advanced anti-radiation guided missiles)
High Moderate Moderate
Invest in revolutionary, swarm counter–anti-access
and area denial capabilities
High High High
Invest in incremental improvements in
counter–ground forces/fires (e.g., enhanced Javelin)
Low Low Low
Invest in revolutionary,
unmanned ground forces/fires capabilities
Moderate Moderate Moderate
Invest in weapons based on “new physical principles”
(e.g,. directed-energy counter–air-defense weapons)
Moderate High High
Implications for the Army
The task of “extending Russia” need not fall primarily on the Army or even the U.S. armed forces as a whole.  Indeed, the most promising ways to extend Russia—those with the highest benefit, the lowest risk, and greatest likelihood of success—likely fall outside the military domain.  Russia is not seeking military parity with the United States and, thus, might simply choose not to respond to some U.S. military actions (e.g., shifts in naval presence);  other U.S. military actions (e.g., posturing forces closer to Russia) could ultimately prove more costly to the United States than to Russia.  Still, our findings have at least three major implications for the Army.
  1. The U.S. Army should rebuild its linguistic and analytical expertise on Russia.  Because Russia does pose a long-term threat, the Army needs to develop the human capital to engage in this strategic competition.

  2. The Army should consider investing and encouraging the other services to invest more in capabilities, such as Army Tactical Missile Systems, Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2, longer-range anti-air defense, and other systems designed to counter Russian anti-access and area denial capabilities.  The Army also might consider spending some R&D resources on less-mature, more-futuristic systems (e.g., swarm unmanned aerial vehicles or remote combat vehicles).  While these measures would likely be insufficient in themselves to greatly extend Russia, they would benefit U.S. deterrence efforts and could augment a broader whole-of-government policy.

  3. Even if the Army were not directly involved in extending Russia per se, it would play a key role in mitigating the possible blowback.  All the options to extend Russia incur some risk.  As a result, enhancing U.S. deterrence posture in Europe and increasing U.S. military capabilities (e.g., an enhanced Javelin or active protection systems for Army vehicles) might need to go hand in hand with any move to extend Russia, as a way of hedging against the chance of tensions with Russia escalating into conflict.
Conclusions
The most-promising options to “extend Russia” are those that directly address its vulnerabilities, anxieties, and strengths, exploiting areas of weakness while undermining Russia’s current advantages.  In that regard, Russia’s greatest vulnerability, in any competition with the United States, is its economy, which is comparatively small and highly dependent on energy exports.  Russian leadership’s greatest anxiety stems from the stability and durability of the regime, and Russia’s greatest strengths are in the military and info-war realms.  The table below draws from the earlier tables to identify the most-promising options.
Most of the options discussed, including those listed here, are in some sense escalatory, and most would likely prompt some Russian counterescalation.  Thus, besides the specific risks associated with each option, there is additional risk attached to a generally intensified competition with a nuclear-armed adversary to consider.  This means that every option must be deliberately planned and carefully calibrated to achieve the desired effect.  Finally, although Russia will bear the cost of this increased competition less easily than the United States will, both sides will have to divert national resources from other purposes.  Extending Russia for its own sake is not a sufficient basis in most cases to consider the options discussed here.  Rather, the options must be considered in the broader context of national policy based on defense, deterrence, and—where U.S. and Russian interests align—cooperation.
Most-Promising Cost-Imposing Options Likelihood of Success
in Extending Russia
Benefits Costs and Risks
Expand U.S. energy production High High Low
Impose deeper trade and financial sanctions High High High
Increase U.S. and allied naval force posture and presence Moderate Moderate Low
Reposture bombers High Moderate Low
Invest more in autonomous or remotely piloted aircraft High Moderate Moderate
Invest more in long-range strike aircraft and missiles High High Moderate
Invest more in longer-range HARMs High Moderate Moderate
Invest more in new electronic warfare technologies Moderate Moderate Low
NOTE:  For all the tables in this brief, high and low rankings for costs and risks are inverted in desirability from the rest of the table;  i.e., low costs are good in the same way that a high likelihood of success is.  Thus, a low cost is shaded in light beige while a low likelihood of success is shaded in red.  All assessments listed in the tables in this brief are based on analysis by the report’s authors.

… The observation in figure 1, augmented by collateral information, shows that no matter if a president is democrat or republican, he paid allegiance to the military industrial complex, represented by stake holders and being the 0.1% percentile of the country.  For the sake of a gain for them only of 0.5 tn/year Biden risked the fortunes of the entire EU and USA population of more than 500 tn, exposing to a direct nuclear confrontation with Russia [3].  The attempt of stealing the Russian business with EU with Natural Gas is prone to failure, because the US methane gas made by fracking contains associated radioactive components from underground Uranium decay. …
A team of RAND experts developed economic, geopolitical, ideological, informational, and military options and qualitatively assessed them in terms of their likelihood of success in extending the United States, their benefits, and their risks and costs.

Extending Russia

Competing from Advantageous Ground

by James Dobbins, Raphael S. Cohen, Nathan Chandler, Bryan Frederick, Edward Geist, Paul DeLuca, Forrest E. Morgan, Howard J. Shatz, Brent Williams.
Year:  2019

Related Topics:
  • Geopolitical Strategic Competition,
  • Military Command and Control,
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization,
  • Nuclear Deterrence,
  • Peacekeeping and Stability Operations,
  • Russia,
  • U.S.-European Relations
This report examines a range of possible means to extend Russia.  As the 2018 National Defense Strategy recognized, the United States is currently locked in a great-power competition with Russia.  This report seeks to define areas where the United States can compete to its own advantage.  Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data from Western and Russian sources, this report examines Russia’s economic, political, and military vulnerabilities and anxieties.  It then analyzes potential policy options to exploit them — ideologically, economically, geopolitically, and militarily (including air and space, maritime, land, and multidomain options).  After describing each measure, this report assesses the associated benefits, costs, and risks, as well as the likelihood that measure could be successfully implemented and actually extend Russia.  Most of the steps covered in this report are in some sense escalatory, and most would likely prompt some Russian counter-escalation.  Some of these policies, however, also might prompt adverse reactions from other U.S. adversaries — most notably, China — that could, in turn, stress the United States.  Ultimately, this report concludes that the most attractive U.S. policy options to extend Russia — with the greatest benefits, highest likelihood of success, and least risk — are in the economic domain, featuring a combination of boosting U.S. energy production and sanctions, providing the latter are multilateral.  In contrast, geopolitical measures to bait Russia into overextending itself and ideological measures to undermine the regime’s stability carry significant risks.  Finally, many military options — including force posture changes and development of new capabilities — could enhance U.S. deterrence and reassure U.S. allies, but only a few are likely to extend Russia, as Moscow is not seeking parity with the United States in most domains.
Key Findings
Russia’s weaknesses lie in the economic domains
  • Russia’s greatest vulnerability, in any competition with the United States, is its economy, which is comparatively small and highly dependent on energy exports.

  • The Russian leadership’s greatest anxiety stems from the stability and durability of the regime.
The most promising measures to stress Russia are in the realms of energy production and international pressure
  • Continuing to expand U.S. energy production in all forms, including renewables, and encouraging other countries to do the same would maximize pressure on Russia’s export receipts and thus on its national and defense budgets.  Alone among the many measures looked at in this report, this one comes with the least cost or risk

  • Sanctions can also limit Russia’s economic potential.  To be effective, however, these need to be multilateral, involving (at a minimum) the European Union, which is Russia’s largest customer and greatest source of technology and capital, larger in all these respects than the United States.
Geopolitical measures to bait Russia into overextending itself are likely impractical, or they risk second-order consequences
  • Many geopolitical measures would force the United States to operate in areas that are closer to Russia and where it is thus cheaper and easier for Russia than the United States to exert influence.
Ideological measures to undermine the regime’s stability carry significant risks of counter escalation
  • Many military options — including force posture changes and development of new capabilities — could enhance U.S. deterrence and reassure U.S. allies, but only a few are likely to extend Russia, as Moscow is not seeking parity with the United States in most domains.


Weakening Germany, Strengthening the U.S.

From:  https://vk.com/@petri.krohn-rand-weakening-germany-strengthening-the-us

Executive Summary

Weakening Germany, strengthening the U.S.

The present state of the U.S. economy does not suggest that it can function without financial and material support from external sources.  The quantitative easing policy, which the Fed has resorted to regularly in recent years, as well as the uncontrolled issue of cash during the 2020 and 2021 Covid lockdowns, have led to a sharp increase in the external debt and an increase in the dollar supply.
The continuing deterioration of the economic situation is highly likely to lead to a loss in the position of the Democratic Party in Congress and the Senate in the forthcoming elections to be held in November 2022.  The impeachment of the President cannot be ruled out under these circumstances, which must be avoided at all costs.
There is an urgent need for resources to flow into the national economy, especially the banking system.  Only European countries bound by EU and NATO commitments will be able to provide them without significant military and political costs for us.
The major obstacle to it is growing independence of Germany.  Although it still is a country with limited sovereignty, for decades it has been consistently moving toward lifting these limitations and becoming a fully independent state.  This movement is slow and cautious, but steady.  Extrapolation shows that the ultimate goal can be reached only in several decades.  However, if social and economic problems in the United States escalate, the pace could accelerate significantly.
An additional factor contributing to Germany’s economic independence is Brexit.  With the withdrawal of the UK from the EU structures, we have lost a meaningful opportunity to influence the negotiation of crossgovernmental decisions.
It is fear of our negative response which by and large determines the relatively slow speed of those changes.  If one day we abandon Europe, there will be a good chance for Germany and France to get to a full political consensus.  Then, Italy and other Old Europe countries — primarily the former ECSC members — may join it on certain conditions.  Britain, which is currently outside the European Union, will not be able to resist the pressure of the Franco-German duo alone.  If implemented, this scenario will eventually turn Europe into not only an economic, but also a political competitor to the United States.
Besides, if the U.S. is for a certain period is engulfed by domestic problems, the Old Europe will be able to more effectively resist the influence of the U.S.-oriented Eastern European countries.

Vulnerabilities in German and EU Economy

An increase in the flow of resources from Europe to U.S. can be expected if Germany begins to experience a controlled economic crisis.  The pace of economic development in the EU depends almost without alternative on the state of the German economy.  It is Germany that bears the brunt of the expenditure directed towards the poorer EU members.

The current German economic model is based on two pillars.  These are unlimited access to cheap Russian energy resources and to cheap French electric power, thanks to the operation of nuclear power plants.  The importance of the first factor is considerably higher.  Halting Russian supplies can well create a systemic crisis that would be devastating for the German economy and, indirectly, for the entire European Union.
The French energy sector could also soon begin to experience heavy problems.  The predictable stop of Russian-controlled nuclear fuel supplies, combined with the unstable situation in the Sahel region, would make French energy sector critically dependent on Australian and Canadian fuel.  In connection with the establishment of AUKUS, it creates new opportunities to exercise pressure.  However this issue is beyond the scope of the present report.

A Controlled Crisis

Due to coalition constraints, the German leadership is not in full control of the situation in the country.  Thanks to our precise actions, it has been possible to block the commissioning of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, despite the opposition of lobbyists from the steel and chemical industries.  However, the dramatic deterioration of the living standards may encourage the leadership to reconsider its policy and return to the idea of European sovereignty and strategic autonomy.

The only feasible way to guarantee Germany’s rejection of Russian energy supplies is to involve both sides in the military conflict in Ukraine.  Our further actions in this country will inevitably lead to a military response from Russia.  Russians will obviously not be able to leave unanswered the massive Ukrainian army pressure on the unrecognized Donbas republics.  That would make possible to declare Russia an aggressor and apply to it the entire package of sanctions prepared beforehand.
Putin may in turn decide to impose limited counter-sanctions — primarily on Russian energy supplies to Europe.  Thus, the damage to the EU countries will be quite comparable to the one to the Russians, and in some countries — primarily in Germany — it will be higher.
The prerequisite for Germany to fall into this trap is the leading role of green parties and ideology in Europe.  The German Greens are a strongly dogmatic, if not zealous, movement, which makes it quite easy to make them ignore economic arguments.  In this respect, the German Greens somewhat exceed their counterparts in the rest of Europe.  Personal features and the lack of professionalism of their leaders — primarily Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck — permit to presume that it is next to impossible for them to admit their own mistakes in a timely manner.
Thus, it will be enough to quickly form the media image of Putin’s aggressive war to turn the Greens into ardent and hardline supporters of sanctions, a ‘party of war’.  It will enable the sanctions regime to be introduced without any obstacles.  The lack of professionalism of the current leaders will not allow a setback in the future, even when the negative impact of the chosen policy becomes obvious enough.  The partners in the German governing coalition will simply have to follow their allies — at least until the load of economic problems outweighs the fear of provoking a government crisis.
However, even when the SPD and the FDP are ready to go against the Greens, the possibility for the next government to return relations with Russia to normal soon enough will be noticeably limited.  German’s involvement in large supplies of weapons and military equipment to the Ukrainian army will inevitably generate a strong mistrust in Russia, which will make the negotiation process quite lengthy.
If war crimes and Russian aggression against Ukraine are confirmed, the German political leadership will not be able to overcome its EU partners’ veto on assistance to Ukraine and reinforced sanctions packages.  This will ensure a sufficiently long gap in cooperation between Germany and Russian, which will make large German economic operators uncompetitive.

Expected Consequences

A reduction in Russian energy supplies — ideally, a complete halt of such supplies — would lead to disastrous outcomes for German industry.  The need to divert significant amounts of Russian gas for winter heating of residential and public facilities will further exacerbate the shortages.  Lockdowns in industrial enterprises will cause shortages of components and spare parts for manufacturing, a breakdown of logistic chains, and, eventually, a domino effect.  A complete standstill at the largest in the chemical, metallurgical, and machine-building, plants is likely, while they have virtually no spare capacity to reduce energy consumption.  It could lead to the shutting down of continuous-cycle enterprises, which would mean their destruction.

The cumulative losses of the German economy can be estimated only approximately.  Even if the restriction of Russian supplies is limited to 2022, its consequences will last for several years, and the total losses could reach 200-300 billion euros.  Not only will it deliver a devastating blow to the German economy, but the entire EU economy will inevitably collapse.  We are talking not about a decline in economy growth pace, but about a sustained recession and a decline in GDP only in material production by 3-4% per year for the next 5-6 years.  Such a fall will inevitably cause panic in the financial markets and may bring them to a collapse.
The euro will inevitably, and most likely irreversibly, fall below the dollar.  A sharp fall of euro will consequently cause its global sale.  It will become a toxic currency, and all countries in the world will rapidly reduce its share in their forex reserves.  This gap will be primarily filled with dollar and yuan.
Another inevitable consequence of a prolonged economic recession will be a sharp drop in living standards and rising unemployment (up to 200,000-400,000 in Germany alone), which will entail the exodus of skilled labour and well-educated young people.  There are literally no other destinations for such migrations other than the United States today.  A somewhat smaller, but also quite significant flow of migrants can be expected from other EU countries.
The scenario under consideration will thus serve to strengthen the national financial condition both indirectly and most directly.  In the short term, it will reverse the trend of the looming economic recession and, in addition, consolidate American society by distracting it from immediate economic concerns.  This, in turn, will reduce electoral risks.
In the medium term (4-5 years), the cumulative benefits of capital flight, re-oriented logistical flows and reduced competition in major industries may amount to USD 7-9 trillion.
Unfortunately, China is also expected to benefit over the medium term from this emerging scenario.  At the same time, Europe’s deep political dependence on the U.S. allows us to effectively neutralise possible attempts by individual European states to draw closer to China.

 


Research Report

January 25, 2022
Confidential
Distribution:  WHCS, ANSA,
Dept. of State, CIA, NSA, DNC

Executive Summary

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    Bericht von Thomas Röper, 1. September 2022 15:01 Uhr

Mit Hilfe der Grünen:
Die USA planen die Zerstörung
der deutschen Wirtschaft

Dass die USA die deutsche Wirtschaft zerstören wollen,
gilt als Verschwörungstheorie und russische Propaganda,
ist aber offensichtlich.
Nun bestätigt das ein sehr interessantes Dokument.

Strategischer Plan der RAND Corporation für die US-Regierung:

25 Januar 2022

Vertraulich

Verteilung: WHCS, ANSA, Außenministerium, CIA, NSA, DNC
(„WHCS“ = „White House Chief of Staff“
„ANSA“ = „American National Security Administration“
„DNC“ = „Democrat National Committee“)

Zusammenfassung

Schwächung Deutschlands, Stärkung der USA

Der gegenwärtige Zustand der US-Wirtschaft deutet nicht darauf hin, dass sie ohne finanzielle und materielle Unterstützung von außen funktionieren kann. Die Politik der quantitativen Lockerung, auf die die Fed in den letzten Jahren regelmäßig zurückgegriffen hat, sowie die unkontrollierte Ausgabe von Bargeld während der Covid-Lockdowns 2020 und 2021 haben zu einem starken Anstieg der Auslandsverschuldung und einer Zunahme des Dollarangebots geführt.

Die anhaltende Verschlechterung der Wirtschaftslage wird bei den bevorstehenden Wahlen im November 2022 höchstwahrscheinlich zu einem Verlust der Position der Demokratischen Partei im Kongress und im Senat führen. Ein Amtsenthebungsverfahren gegen den Präsidenten ist unter diesen Umständen nicht auszuschließen und muss unter allen Umständen vermieden werden.

Es ist dringend notwendig, dass Ressourcen in die nationale Wirtschaft fließen, insbesondere in das Bankensystem. Nur europäische Länder, die durch EU- und NATO-Verpflichtungen gebunden sind, werden in der Lage sein, diese ohne erhebliche militärische und politische Kosten für uns bereitzustellen.

Das Haupthindernis dafür ist die wachsende Unabhängigkeit Deutschlands. Obwohl es immer noch ein Land mit eingeschränkter Souveränität ist, bewegt es sich seit Jahrzehnten konsequent darauf zu, diese Einschränkungen aufzuheben und ein vollständig unabhängiger Staat zu werden. Diese Bewegung ist langsam und vorsichtig, aber stetig. Die Extrapolation zeigt, dass das Endziel erst in einigen Jahrzehnten erreicht werden kann. Wenn jedoch die sozialen und wirtschaftlichen Probleme in den Vereinigten Staaten eskalieren, könnte sich das Tempo erheblich beschleunigen.

Ein weiterer Faktor, der zur wirtschaftlichen Unabhängigkeit Deutschlands beiträgt, ist der Brexit. Mit dem Austritt des Vereinigten Königreichs aus den EU-Strukturen haben wir eine wichtige Möglichkeit verloren, die Aushandlung regierungsübergreifender Entscheidungen zu beeinflussen.

Es ist die Angst vor unserer negativen Reaktion, die im Großen und Ganzen das relativ langsame Tempo dieser Veränderungen bestimmt. Wenn wir eines Tages Europa verlassen, besteht für Deutschland und Frankreich eine gute Chance, zu einem vollständigen politischen Konsens zu gelangen. Dann könnten sich Italien und andere Länder des alten Europas – vor allem die ehemaligen EGKS-Mitglieder – dem unter bestimmten Bedingungen anschließen. Großbritannien, das derzeit nicht der Europäischen Union angehört, wird dem Druck des deutsch-französischen Duos allein nicht standhalten können. Wenn dieses Szenario eintritt, wird Europa nicht nur zu einem wirtschaftlichen, sondern auch zu einem politischen Konkurrenten der Vereinigten Staaten werden.

Außerdem wird das alte Europa, wenn die USA für eine gewisse Zeit von innenpolitischen Problemen heimgesucht werden, in der Lage sein, dem Einfluss der amerikanisch orientierten osteuropäischen Länder wirksamer zu widerstehen.

Schwachstellen in der deutschen und der EU-Wirtschaft

Eine Zunahme des Ressourcenflusses von Europa in die USA ist zu erwarten, wenn Deutschland in eine kontrollierte Wirtschaftskrise gerät. Das Tempo der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung in der EU hängt fast alternativlos von der Lage der deutschen Wirtschaft ab. Es ist Deutschland, das die Hauptlast der Ausgaben für die ärmeren EU-Mitglieder trägt.

Das derzeitige deutsche Wirtschaftsmodell stützt sich auf zwei Säulen. Das sind der unbegrenzte Zugang zu billigen russischen Energieressourcen und zu billigem französischem Strom, dank des Betriebs von Kernkraftwerken. Die Bedeutung des ersten Faktors ist wesentlich höher. Eine Unterbrechung der russischen Lieferungen kann durchaus eine Systemkrise auslösen, die für die deutsche Wirtschaft und indirekt für die gesamte Europäische Union verheerend wäre.

Auch der französische Energiesektor könnte bald in große Probleme geraten. Die vorhersehbare Einstellung der von Russland kontrollierten Kernbrennstofflieferungen in Verbindung mit der instabilen Lage in der Sahelzone würde den französischen Energiesektor in eine kritische Abhängigkeit von australischen und kanadischen Brennstoffen bringen. Im Zusammenhang mit der Gründung von AUKUS ergeben sich neue Möglichkeiten, Druck auszuüben. Diese Frage würde jedoch den Rahmen des vorliegenden Berichts sprengen.

(Anm. d. Übers.: Das Thema sehe ich derzeit oft in Artikeln von Analysten, denn Russland beherrscht fast 50 Prozent des weltweiten Marktes für Reaktorbrennstäbe, weshalb Analysten die Frage diskutieren, wie die französischen und amerikanischen AKWs in Zukunft laufen sollen, wenn Russland den Export einstellen sollte. In diesem Zusammenhang sind die Entwicklungen in Mali wichtig, die derzeit Schlagzeilen machen, denn dort geht es keineswegs um den Kampf gegen irgendwelche Terroristen, sondern um die Sicherstellung von Uranlieferungen nach Frankreich, die mit einem Abzug der deutschen und französischen Truppen in Gefahr geraten könnten, Details dazu finden Sie hier. Daher ist AUKUS sehr wichtig, denn das neue Bündnis ist ein weiteres Machtinstrument der USA, um seinen Einfluss auf Australien auszudehnen.)

Eine kontrollierte Krise

Aufgrund von Koalitionszwängen hat die deutsche Führung die Lage im Land nicht vollständig unter Kontrolle. Dank unserer präzisen Aktionen war es möglich, die Inbetriebnahme der Pipeline Nord Stream 2 trotz des Widerstands der Lobbyisten aus der Stahl- und Chemieindustrie zu verhindern. Die dramatische Verschlechterung des Lebensstandards könnte die deutsche Führung jedoch dazu bewegen, ihre Politik zu überdenken und zur Idee der europäischen Souveränität und strategischen Autonomie zurückzukehren.

Der einzig gangbare Weg, Deutschlands Ablehnung russischer Energielieferungen zu garantieren, ist die Einbindung beider Seiten in den militärischen Konflikt in der Ukraine. Unser weiteres Vorgehen in diesem Land wird unweigerlich zu einer militärischen Antwort Russlands führen. Die Russen werden den massiven Druck der ukrainischen Armee auf die nicht anerkannten Donbass-Republiken natürlich nicht unbeantwortet lassen können. Das würde es ermöglichen, Russland zum Aggressor zu erklären und das gesamte Paket der zuvor vorbereiteten Sanktionen gegen das Land anzuwenden. (Anm. d. Übers.: Dass die Sanktionen von langer Hand vorbereitet waren, hat Bundeskanzler Scholz später mehrmals öffentlich gesagt)

Putin könnte seinerseits beschließen, begrenzte Gegensanktionen zu verhängen – vor allem gegen russische Energielieferungen nach Europa. Der Schaden für die EU-Länder wird also durchaus mit dem für die Russen vergleichbar sein und in einigen Ländern – vor allem in Deutschland – wird er höher sein.

Die Voraussetzung dafür, dass Deutschland in diese Falle tappen kann, ist die führende Rolle der grünen Parteien und Ideologie in Europa. Die deutschen Grünen sind eine stark dogmatische, wenn nicht gar eifrige Bewegung, was es recht einfach macht, sie dazu zu bringen, wirtschaftliche Argumente zu ignorieren. In dieser Hinsicht übertreffen die deutschen Grünen ihre Pendants im übrigen Europa. Persönliche Eigenschaften und die mangelnde Professionalität ihrer Führer – allen voran Annalena Baerbock und Robert Habeck – lassen vermuten, dass es für sie nahezu unmöglich ist, eigene Fehler rechtzeitig zuzugeben.

So wird es ausreichen, das mediale Bild von Putins aggressivem Krieg schnell zu formen, um die Grünen zu glühenden und hartgesottenen Befürwortern von Sanktionen zu machen, zu einer „Partei des Krieges“. Auf diese Weise kann das Sanktionsregime ohne Hindernisse eingeführt werden. Die mangelnde Professionalität der derzeitigen Führer wird auch in Zukunft keinen Rückschlag zulassen, selbst wenn die negativen Auswirkungen der gewählten Politik deutlich genug werden. Die Partner in der deutschen Regierungskoalition werden ihren Verbündeten einfach folgen müssen – zumindest so lange, bis die Last der wirtschaftlichen Probleme größer ist als die Angst, eine Regierungskrise zu provozieren.

Doch selbst wenn SPD und FDP bereit sind, sich gegen die Grünen zu stellen, werden die Möglichkeiten der nächsten Regierung, die Beziehungen zu Russland schnell genug wieder zu normalisieren, spürbar eingeschränkt sein. Die Beteiligung Deutschlands an umfangreichen Waffen- und Rüstungslieferungen an die ukrainische Armee wird unweigerlich ein starkes Misstrauen in Russland hervorrufen, was den Verhandlungsprozess ziemlich langwierig machen wird.

Sollten sich Kriegsverbrechen und die russische Aggression gegen die Ukraine bestätigen, wird die deutsche politische Führung nicht in der Lage sein, das Veto ihrer EU-Partner gegen Hilfen für die Ukraine und verschärfte Sanktionspakete zu überwinden. Das wird für eine ausreichend lange Kluft in der Zusammenarbeit zwischen Deutschland und Russland sorgen, die große deutsche Wirtschaftsunternehmen wettbewerbsunfähig machen wird.

Erwartete Folgen

Eine Verringerung der russischen Energielieferungen – im Idealfall ein völliger Stopp dieser Lieferungen – hätte katastrophale Folgen für die deutsche Industrie. Die Notwendigkeit, erhebliche Mengen russischen Gases für die Beheizung von Privathaushalten und öffentlichen Einrichtungen im Winter umzuleiten, wird die Engpässe weiter verschärfen. Stilllegungen von Industrieunternehmen werden zu Engpässen bei Komponenten und Ersatzteilen für die Produktion, zum Zusammenbruch der Logistikketten und schließlich zu einem Dominoeffekt führen. In den größten Betrieben der Chemie-, Metallurgie- und Maschinenbauindustrie ist ein völliger Stillstand wahrscheinlich, da sie praktisch keine freien Kapazitäten haben, um den Energieverbrauch zu senken. Das könnte zur Schließung von Unternehmen mit kontinuierlichem Zyklus führen, was deren Zerstörung bedeuten würde. (Anm. d. Übers.: Das gilt zum Beispiel für die Stahlindustrie, denn wenn ein Brennofen einmal komplett heruntergefahren wird, ist er zerstört. Brennöfen müssen immer mit einer Mindestlast betrieben werden.)

Die kumulierten Verluste der deutschen Wirtschaft lassen sich nur ungefähr abschätzen. Selbst wenn die Einschränkung der russischen Lieferungen auf das Jahr 2022 begrenzt ist, werden die Folgen mehrere Jahre andauern, und die Gesamtverluste könnten 200 bis 300 Milliarden Euro erreichen. Das wird nicht nur der deutschen Wirtschaft einen verheerenden Schlag versetzen, sondern die gesamte EU-Wirtschaft wird unweigerlich zusammenbrechen. Wir sprechen hier nicht von einem Rückgang des Wirtschaftswachstums, sondern von einer anhaltenden Rezession und einem Rückgang des BIP allein bei der materiellen Produktion um drei bis vier Prozent pro Jahr in den nächsten fünf bis sechs Jahren. Ein solcher Rückgang wird unweigerlich zu einer Panik auf den Finanzmärkten führen und diese möglicherweise zum Zusammenbruch bringen.

Der Euro wird unweigerlich und höchstwahrscheinlich unwiderruflich unter den Dollar fallen. Ein starker Rückgang des Euro wird folglich seinen weltweiten Verkauf zur Folge haben. Er wird zu einer toxischen Währung und alle Länder der Welt werden seinen Anteil an ihren Devisenreserven rasch reduzieren. Diese Lücke wird in erster Linie mit Dollar und Yuan gefüllt werden.

Eine weitere unvermeidliche Folge einer lang anhaltenden wirtschaftlichen Rezession wird ein starker Rückgang des Lebensstandards und eine steigende Arbeitslosigkeit sein (bis zu 200.000 bis 400.000 allein in Deutschland), was die Abwanderung von qualifizierten Arbeitskräften und gut ausgebildeten jungen Menschen zur Folge haben wird. Es gibt heute buchstäblich keine anderen Ziele für eine solche Migration als die Vereinigten Staaten. Ein etwas geringerer, aber ebenfalls nicht unerheblicher Migrantenstrom ist aus anderen EU-Ländern zu erwarten.

Das untersuchte Szenario wird also sowohl indirekt als auch ganz direkt zur Stärkung der nationalen Finanzlage beitragen. Kurzfristig wird es den Trend der sich abzeichnenden wirtschaftlichen Rezession umkehren und darüber hinaus die amerikanische Gesellschaft konsolidieren, indem es sie von unmittelbaren wirtschaftlichen Sorgen ablenkt. Das wiederum wird das Risiko bei der Wahl verringern.

Mittelfristig (4-5 Jahre) könnten sich die kumulierten Vorteile der Kapitalflucht, der neu ausgerichteten logistischen Ströme und des geringeren Wettbewerbs in den wichtigsten Branchen auf sieben bis neun Billionen Dollar belaufen.

Leider dürfte auch China mittelfristig von diesem sich entwickelnden Szenario profitieren. Gleichzeitig erlaubt uns die starke politische Abhängigkeit Europas von den USA, mögliche Versuche einzelner europäischer Staaten, sich China anzunähern, wirksam zu neutralisieren.


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Veritas liberatbit vos— Brian Regan ( Inscriptio electronica:  Theedrich@harbornet.com )
Dies immutationis recentissimæ:  die Lunæ, 2022 Oct 10