Though not a great power war, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has caused many to wonder what a true great power war in Europe or the Indo-Pacific would look like, and especially what kind of world would emerge afterwards. Two RAND researchers discuss how their recent report sheds light on this issue.
The Aftermath of a Great Power War
Photo by Rodger Hamilton/U.S. Army
The U.S. Department of Defense has been increasingly focused on competition with Russia and China and, in the extreme, the possibility of great power war. To inform thinking about what might follow such a war, RAND researchers generated four hypothetical near-term great power war scenarios and assessed how the postwar strategic environment would change in each scenario. These scenarios offer planners and decisionmakers plausible narratives about future great power wars with different features to help them examine assumptions and think about how wartime choices could affect postwar U.S. objectives.