Reflecting on One Year of War
The Role of Non-Military Levers
Published in: Center for Maritime Strategy website (2023)
Posted on RAND.org on March 28, 2023
In December 2021, with Russian troops massed on Ukraine's borders, President Biden ruled out sending U.S. forces to defend Ukraine. A year after the invasion, direct military engagement between NATO and Russia remains out-of-bounds. Despite this, the West finds itself in indirect conflict with Russia, backing Ukraine with weapons, intelligence, training, and an unprecedented package of sanctions against Moscow.
The pressing question is: what kind of conflict? To understand this, and how its dynamics may evolve, it is important to understand concepts such as "sub-threshold" and "gray zone" competition; to be able to identify the main military and non-military levers in use; and to explore how these are being employed by the West and Russia one year on.