The cell is trying to tailor responses to the various sorts of assaults that might unfold within the subsequent few weeks, from cyberattacks geared toward crippling Ukraine’s electrical grid and pipelines to the seizure of small or giant quantities of territory.
Intelligence officers stated just lately that they thought the least probably risk was a full-scale invasion during which the Russians attempt to take the capital, Kyiv. Many of the assessments, nevertheless, have explored extra incremental strikes by Mr. Putin, which may embrace seizing a bit extra land within the Donbas area, the place battle has floor into a stalemate, or a land bridge to Crimea.
Several officers aware of the planning say the administration is European nations that might present extra support to help Ukrainian forces earlier than any battle, in addition to within the preliminary levels of a Russian invasion.
Lt. Col. Anton Semelroth, a Defense Department spokesman, famous in December that the United States had already dedicated over $2.5 billion in safety help to Ukraine since 2014, together with $450 million in 2021 alone. Over the previous three months, it has delivered 180 Javelin missiles, two patrol boats, ammunition for grenade launchers, machine weapons, safe radios, medical tools and different gadgets that U.S. officers describe as defensive in nature.
But the planning cell is contemplating extra deadly weaponry, akin to antiaircraft weapons.
After visiting Ukraine final month, Representative Seth Moulton, Democrat of Massachusetts and a former Marine officer, stated that in his view, “We need to make any incursion by Russia more painful — Day 1 painful, not six months from now painful.”
“We have a short window to take decisive action to deter Putin from a serious invasion,” Mr. Moulton stated in an interview. “I worry our current deterrent tactics are responding to an invasion rather than preventing it.”
One choice prone to be mentioned at NATO this coming week is a plan to extend, probably by a number of thousand, the quantity of troops stationed within the Baltics and in Southeast Europe.