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Security Brief: Behavior/Leadership Week of March 14, 2022

Updated: Mar 30

Week of Monday, March 14, 2022 | Issue 09

Sofia Stanga and Jacqueline Schluger, Behavior/Leadership Team

Jennifer Loy, Chief of Staff



NATO patrols the skies over Poland[1]




Date: March 14, 2022

Location: China

Parties involved: US government; Chinese government; Russian government; NATO member governments

The event: China has expressed willingness to provide Russia with requested military and economic assistance in its war on Ukraine. The US communicated China’s ability to aid Russia in a diplomatic cable to NATO allies in Europe and Asia. The communications did not state if Russia already received assistance from China. US officials warned that China would likely publicly deny their willingness to provide assistance.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Sanctions and severed business ties from most of Russia’s economic partners will likely cause Russia to increasingly rely on China as an ally. As economic activity between Russia and China increases, their alliance will very likely strengthen and likely result in China providing military assistance to Russia. With more money and resources, Russia will very likely increase military action and expand fighting in Ukraine. Chinese military support will very likely prolong the war in Ukraine.

  • Chinese military assistance to Russia will very likely lead to the US imposing more sanctions on China to deter continued conflict in Ukraine. Sanctions and other economic measures such as decreased business ties between US and European companies and Chinese labor and manufacturing will very likely result in global supply-chain issues. By moving operations out of China, US and European businesses will likely face higher manufacturing and labor wages in other countries. An increase in business expenses will very likely increase the price of goods and services for European and American citizens. An increase in prices will likely contribute to economic strain in countries which participate in these globalized markets, very likely shrinking global economic activity.


Date: March 16, 2022

Location: Washington DC, USA

Parties involved: Ukrainian government; US government; Russian government; NATO; Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky; US President Joe Biden; US Commission

The event: Ukrainian President Zelensky urged the US Congress to agree to a no-fly zone over Ukraine to protect the country from Russian aerial attacks. He also requested more planes and defense systems to respond to the Russian invasion. The request comes as European leaders have opposed instituting a no-fly zone over Ukraine.[3]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The Ukrainian President almost certainly believes European countries should take a stronger stance in defending Ukraine from the invasion by agreeing to the establishment of a no-fly zone. European leaders are almost certainly hesitant about declaring a no-fly zone because that would imply a direct involvement in the conflict. Western leaders will almost certainly avoid confrontation due to the threat of a nuclear-armed Russia and likely aim to maintain economic relations with Russia once sanctions are lifted. European leaders will very likely choose not to impose a no-fly zone in the coming weeks because of their reliance upon gas and energy imports from Moscow.

  • Zelensky is almost certainly aware of the fact that Western leaders will not agree to a no-fly zone because of its implications in the conflict. Zelensky is likely using the no-fly zone as a negotiation strategy as a means to obtain more military equipment and defense systems from the United States and European leaders. It is very likely that US President Joe Biden and the US Commission will try to compensate for the impossibility of ensuring Zelensky a no-fly zone over Ukraine by sending the requested military equipment to support Ukraine's resistance.

________________________________________________________________________ The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)

[1] French fighters patrol the skies over Poland by NATO licensed under Flickr

[2] China has expressed some openness to providing military and financial aid to Russia, US cable suggests, CNN, March 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/14/politics/us-china-russia-ukraine/index.html

[3] Ukraine's Zelenskiy asks U.S. Congress to 'protect our sky' against Russia, Reuters, March 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/ukraine-president-zelenskiy-seek-more-help-speech-us-congress-2022-03-16/

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