The RAND Corporation’s Six-Point Plan to “Over-Extend” Russia

In 2019, the RAND Corporation, which is a major component of the U.S. military-industrial complex, published a report titled Extending Russia: Competing from Advantageous Ground, which offers a sort of updated gameplan on how to destabilize and weaken Russia. The website Moon of Alabama devoted an article to the report on Jan. 6 in the context of the riots ongoing in Kazakhstan (

The RAND document states openly in its summary: “Recognizing that some level of competition with Russia is inevitable, this report seeks to define areas where the United States can do so to its advantage. We examine a range of nonviolent measures that could exploit Russia’s actual vulnerabilities and anxieties as a way of stressing Russia’s military and economy and the regime’s political standing at home and abroad…. [T] hese steps are conceived of as elements in a campaign designed to unbalance the adversary, leading Russia to compete in domains or regions where the United States has a competitive advantage, and causing Russia to overextend itself militarily or economically or causing the regime to lose domestic and/or international prestige and influence.” Chapter 4 lists six “geopolitical measures” the United States should take:

Provide lethal aid to Ukraine 2. Increase support to Syrian rebels 3. Promote regime change in Belarus 4. Exploit tensions in the South Caucasus [in particular Armenia and Azerbaijan] 5. Reduce Russian influence in Central Asia 6. Challenge Russian presence in Moldova As we know, all of these measures have been implemented to one degree or another. On the fifth point, the most important country in Central Asia is Kazakhstan, where an attempted coup, supported by the “usual suspects” from the West, was just thwarted (cf. below).

Note that the RAND Corporation is one of the oldest think tanks in the United States, founded in 1948. Two thirds of its funding comes directly from government agencies, notably including the Pentagon and the National Security Agency. On the private side, one finds the defense giants, the corporate cartels, etc.

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