American Intel: Russia Does Not Want Direct Military Conflict with the US and NATO


The annual report by the US intelligence community says Russia does not want direct military conflict with America and NATO. Photo/RIA Novosti/via REUTERS

WASHINGTON – The US intelligence community believes Russia does not want a direct military conflict with American and NATO troops, but there is potential for that to happen.

The assessment appears in the Annual Threat Assessment report [Penilaian Ancaman Tahunan] the United States intelligence community issued on Wednesday.

According to the report, Russia’s gratuitous war against Ukraine was a tectonic event that reshaped Russia’s relations with the West and China, and more broadly in ways that are ongoing and remain highly uncertain.

The report also warned that the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine could turn into a military confrontation between Russia and the West, bringing with it greater risks that the world has not faced for decades.

“Russia’s leadership has so far avoided taking actions that would extend the Ukrainian conflict beyond Ukraine’s borders, but the risks of escalation remain significant,” the report said.

The report, further, says there is a real potential for Russia’s military failure in the Ukraine war to hurt Russian President Vladimir Putin’s domestic position and thereby trigger additional escalatory actions by Russia in a bid to win back public support.

Escalating claims that the United States is using Ukraine as a proxy to undermine Russia, and that Ukraine’s military successes are simply the result of US and NATO intervention could foreshadow further Russian escalation.

Moscow will continue to use various tools to advance what it sees as its own interests and try to undermine the interests of the United States and its allies. These are most likely military, security, malign influence, cyber, and intelligence tools, with Russia’s economic and energy clout perhaps a declining asset.

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