This would be both highly destabilizing and costly in

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Unformatted text preview: weapons materials to terrorist groups, as well as perpetuating an increasing risk of accident at one of Russia’s nuclear power plants or other facilities. These elements touch upon key security interests, thus raising serious concerns for the United States. A declining Russia increases the likelihood of conflict—internal or otherwise—and the general deterioration that Russia has in common with “failing” states raises serious questions about its capacity to respond to an emerging crisis. A crisis in large, populous, and nuclear-armed Russia can easily affect the interests of the United States and its allies. In response to such a scenario, the United States, whether alone or as part of a larger coalition, could be asked to send military forces to the area in and around Russia . This chapter will explore a handful of scenarios that could call for U.S. involvement. A wide range of crisis scenarios can be reasonably extrapolated from the trends implicit in Russia’s decline. 20 | P a g e Russian Oil DA BDL Russian Economy Laundry List Impact [____] [____] Wars will spread throughout the region Oliga Oliker and Tanya Charlick-Paley, RAND Corporation Project Air Force, 2002 (“Assessing Russia’s Decline,” A notional list includes: Authorized or unauthorized belligerent actions by Russia troops in trouble-prone Russian regions or in neighboring states could lead to armed conflict. Border clashes with China in the Russian Far East or between Russia and Ukraine, the Baltic states, Kazakhstan, or another neighbor could escalate into interstate combat. Nuclear-armed terrorists based in Russia or using weapons or materials diverted from Russian facilities could threaten Russia, Europe, Asia, or the United States. [____] A Russian civil war would involve the use of nuclear and biological weapons Oliga Oliker and Tanya Charlick-Paley, RAND Corporation Project Air Force, 2002 (“Assessing Russia’s Decline,” Civil war in Russia could involve fighting near storage sties for nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons and agents, risking large-scale contamination and humanitarian disaster. A nuclear accident at a power plant or facility could endanger life and health in Russia and neighboring states. A chemical accident at a plant or nuclear or nuclear-related facility could endanger life and health in Rusisa and neighboring states. Ethnic pogrom in south Russia could force refugees into Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and/or Ukraine. Economic and ethnic conflicts in Caucasus could erupt into armed clashes, which would endanger oil and gas pipelines in the region. A massive ecological disaster such as an earthquake, famine, or epidemic could spawn refugees and spread illness and death across borders. An increasingly criminalized Russian economy could create a safe haven for crime or even terrorist-linked groups. From this base, criminals, drug traders, and terrorists could threaten the people and economies of Europe, Asia, and the United States. Accelerated Russian weapons and technology sales or unauthorized d...
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