As fears grow of potential Russian aggression against Ukraine, a “Tiger Team” led by the White House is quietly gaming out how the United States would respond to a range of jarring scenarios, from a limited show of force to a full-scale, mass-casualty invasion.
The White House team has staged two multi-hour tabletop exercises — including one with Cabinet officials — to bring the scenarios to life and assembled a playbook that outlines an array of swift potential responses, starting with Day One and extending through the first two weeks of an envisioned Russian invasion.
his time, “it’s remarkable how much warning Washington has been able to give,” said Andrea Kendall-Taylor, a former CIA Russia analyst who is now a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. “They are far more prepared this time around.”
In 2014, the U.S. investment in intelligence collection on Russia had dwindled following the end of the Cold War and America’s focus on counterterrorism. When Russia invaded Crimea, Kendall-Taylor said, “we were caught flat-footed and unprepared.”
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