RAND Corporation Once Again Spreading Anti-Russia Propaganda in Its Reports

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Once again, Western think tanks are disrupting international harmony and spreading fear and panic in order to serve the globalist agenda. In a recent report, RAND Corporation, one of the largest American think tanks, stated that NATO nations would be vulnerable to Russian nuclear power in an eventual armed conflict against Russia on European soil. The text approaches the topic with unfounded alarmism about the possibility of a nuclear conflict, which only tends to increase anti-Russian hysteria in the West.

In its latest report, entitled “Competing with Russia Militarily Implications of Conventional and Nuclear Conflicts,” RAND Corporation presents a terrible future for Europe and the entire West. The four authors of the report (Clint Reach, Edward Geist, Abby Doll and Joe Cheravitch) believe that NATO currently lacks sufficient power to prevent Russia from starting a nuclear escalation in Europe. The authors see tensions in the Baltic region as a possible starting point for a conflict with Russia and emphasize the weaknesses of the West as a problem to be corrected in order to ensure European security.

The authors’ main argument is to remember that Russian military doctrine guarantees the possibility of using nuclear weapons in the event of a response to a foreign attack or threat to the existence of the Russian State. This military orientation was taken in 2010 and later reaffirmed by President Putin in 2018 and consists of nothing more than the possibility of using nuclear weapons as a last possibility. However, Western analysts consider this authorization obscure and uncertain, without details on when the Russian government’s use of nuclear force would be “legitimate”. For the RAND Corporation, there is no clear definition of what would be a “threat to the existence of the Russian state”, which creates a nuclear instability.

Regardless of any legal aspect of when the Russian government would or would not be allowed to use nuclear weapons, the central point when we address this issue is the strategic value. In fact, no country in the world currently plans to use nuclear weapons. A nuclear war could mean the end of the entire planet. It is not by chance that the practice of war has become a set of complex actions, such as hybrid warfare, proxy confrontation, intelligence operations, among others. War as it was practiced in the past is currently unfeasible and all governments in the world know this and take this into account when formulating their strategies in foreign policy. The value of nuclear weapons is in their ability to guarantee security to the state that possesses them, not in their actual use. The nation that possesses nuclear weapons has a guarantee of security and territorial inviolability – not an instrument of attack.

However, perhaps the objective of the RAND Corporation is not exactly to point out scenarios and possibilities, but just to speculate the worst-case-scenario for the West and thus justify any measures by the Western governments to avoid this catastrophic future. The logic of American think tanks seems increasingly to be one of producing material with pre-appointed conclusions. The role of consultants is simply to write anything that justifies increased aggressiveness in foreign policy as a way of “improving Western defense.”

This conclusion is visible when we analyze what RAND proposes to solve the Western “vulnerability”. The report considers the possibility that Russia could use a “limited nuclear war” tactic – a concept that has not been in use since the end of the Cold War – against the West, which would allow the Russian government to carry out a low-potential attack on European soil. If NATO responded to this attack with a retaliation on Russian soil, then Moscow would certainly hit American territory. This scenario is due to the fact that NATO has few strategic bases, considering that only the US, France and the UK have nuclear weapons (in addition to foreign bases in Germany and Italy), which would make the western territory more vulnerable to Russian attacks, considering its large non-nuclear zones. Therefore, the solution would be to eliminate vulnerable areas, which seems to be a mere excuse to allocate as many nuclear weapons as possible in European countries. In the end, the whole hypothetical scenario created by the analysts justifies the resurgence of nuclear tensions.

It is difficult to imagine that any geopolitical analyst would really think this way, which reinforces the idea that such reports are just justifications for NATO to increase its aggressiveness and, in the specific case, for the US to guarantee its security in the first place by creating a nuclear zone on European soil in order to avoid possible attacks on American territory.

The report came at a totally inappropriate time, when the world was beginning to hope for a future with less tensions due to the meeting between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden two weeks ago. Both leaders promised efforts to renew the New Start agreement, but shortly thereafter, American strategists suggest a defense plan against the “Russian threat” that precisely implies a process of nuclearization in Europe.

However, while the report’s intent was to expose NATO’s vulnerabilities to further intensify anti-Russia mentality in Western governments and justify more aggressive measures, the proposals presented are not of interest to European states. The real aim is to protect American soil from a possible Russian attack, restricting the conflict to Europe – luckily for the Europeans, these war plans do not exist in Moscow.


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Lucas Leiroz is a research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

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