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Will Kazakhstan Operation Serve To Increase Russia’s Influence? Moon of Alabama’s Analysis

Jan. 7, 2022 (EIRNS)—Moon of Alabama reports on a 2019 RAND publication about how to compete against Russia. The 354-page RAND document “Extending Russia: Competing from Advantageous Ground,” states 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.”

Among the six “geopolitical measures” listed in chapter 4 of the RAND report, four have been implemented. The six are:

1. Provide lethal aid to Ukraine

2. Increase support to Syrian rebels

3. Promote regime change in Belarus

4. Exploit tensions in the South Caucasus

5. Reduce Russian influence in Central Asia

6. Challenge Russian presence in Moldova

Among the reported demands of some of the protest groups are the “withdrawal from all alliances with Russia” and that “Kazakhstan should leave the Eurasian Economic Union.”

The protests, which may have begun peacefully in response to fuel prices rises, included violent elements who, it is claimed, have attacked reporters documenting their activities.

With CSTO troops now in Kazakhstan to provide additional security, the denouement should come soon.

The overall result may be a new Kazakhstan government with closer ties to Russia.

Was this Kazakhstan trap sprung early, prompted by Putin’s security demands and the talks coming next week?

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