For the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S. Department of Defense is reviewing and updating its contingency plans for armed conflict with Russia.
The Pentagon generates contingency plans continuously, planning for every possible scenario — anything from armed confrontation with North Korea tozombie attacks. But those plans are also ranked and worked on according to priority and probability. After 1991, military plans to deal with Russian aggression fell off the Pentagon’s radar. They sat on the shelf, gathering dust as Russia became increasingly integrated into the West and came to be seen as a potential partner on a range of issues. Now, according to several current and former officials in the State and Defense departments, the Pentagon is dusting off those plans and re-evaluating them, updating them to reflect a new, post-Crimea-annexation geopolitical reality in which Russia is no longer a potential partner, but a potential threat.