美国威慑战略与俄乌冲突
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The U.S. Deterrence Strategy and the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

美国威慑战略与俄乌冲突

How is Beijing assessing the effectiveness of US deterrence strategy, creditability, and capabilities? Writing in one of China’s leading IR journals, Renmin University’s Zuo Xiying concludes that while US “failed to deter Russia from taking military action,” its actions to support Ukraine and punish Moscow “produced a powerful deterrent effect against China with regard to the Taiwan issue.”


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Following the end of the Cold War, NATO continuously expanded eastwards, and Ukraine became an outpost of U.S. and Russian confrontation. In the wake of Ukraine’s color revolutions, Russia and Ukraine descended into antagonism and conflict. During the 2014 Russia-Ukraine conflict, Russia adopted a hybrid war approach. By combining conventional with non-conventional troops and tactics, it achieved an enormous strategic success.  1 To reinforce deterrence against Russia, the United States launched the “European Reassurance Initiative” (later changing its name to the “European Deterrence Initiative”). This helped Ukraine to strengthen its military build-up and augment its ability to resist Russia militarily. The Ukraine situation again deteriorated after November 2021. The United States, in an attempt to stop the outbreak of war through deterrence, repeatedly sent threatening signals to Russia. However, after Russian President Putin, on February 21, 2022, declared the “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Lugansk People’s Republic” in eastern Ukraine to be independent countries and ordered the Russian army to enter the two territories, and after a Russia-Ukraine conflict once again broke out on February 24, the U.S. deterrence strategy headed for failure. However, the economic and financial sanctions that the United States is now imposing on Russia and the massive military aid that it is providing Ukraine have formed a new deterrence logic and new deterrence effects. With this as the background, it is necessary to conduct a more in-depth and systematic analysis and evaluation of how the United States devised its deterrence strategy.

冷战结束以后,北约不断东扩,乌克兰成为美国与俄罗斯对抗的前哨。随着乌克兰爆发颜色革命,俄罗斯和乌克兰陷入了对立和冲突。在2014年俄乌冲突中,俄罗斯采取了“混合战争”(hybrid war)的方式,将正规部队和非正规部队、常规战术和非常规战术结合,取得了巨大的战略成功。为了强化对俄罗斯的威慑,美国提出了“欧洲再保证倡议”,随后将其更名为“欧洲威慑倡议”,帮助乌克兰加强军力建设,增强乌克兰在军事上抵抗俄罗斯的能力。2021年11月以来,乌克兰局势再次恶化,美国向俄罗斯屡次发出威胁信号,试图通过威慑来阻止战争爆发。然而,随着俄罗斯总统普京2022年2月21日宣布承认乌克兰东部的“顿涅茨克人民共和国”和“卢甘斯克人民共和国”为独立国家,并命令俄罗斯军队进入两地,以及2月24日俄乌冲突再次爆发,美国的威慑战略走向失败。不过,当前美国在经济和金融上制裁俄罗斯,在军事上大规模援助乌克兰,已经形成了新的威慑逻辑和威慑效用。在此背景下,有必要对美国如何运筹威慑战略进行更深入和更系统的分析和评估。

I. Designing the U.S. Deterrence Strategy

一、美国威慑战略的布局

In March 2014, following the eruption of the Crimean crisis, the United States quickly reacted on a diplomatic level. First, it implemented economic and financial sanctions against Russia that restricted financing channels for its key sectors. Second, it employed many different measures to calm its NATO allies and made sure that the related countries retained their confidence in the United States.

2014年3月,克里米亚危机爆发以后,美国在外交上迅速作出反应。一是对俄罗斯实施经济和金融制裁,限制其关键部门的融资途径;二是通过多种措施安抚北约盟友,确保相关国家对美国的信心;

Figure 1 European Deterrence (Reassurance) Initiative funding allocations (by main categories) (in 100 million U.S. dollars)

图1“欧洲威慑(再保证)倡议”在主要领域的资金分配(亿美元)

Data source: “DoD Budget Request,” https://comptroller.defense.gov/Budget-Materials/ (Accessed on April 28, 2022)
数据来源:“DoD Budget Request, ”https://comptroller.defense.gov/Budget-Materials/(.上网时间:2022年4月28日)

Third, it strategically supported Ukraine, providing it with an aid package. When the crisis first broke out, the United States’ reaction was based on a crisis response mode. That is, the United States had to declare a position and exhibit resolve while calming the fears and concerns that its NATO allies had about Russia. As the situation stabilized, the United States strengthened its strategic planning, expanded its military aid to Ukraine, and thereby bolstered its deterrence against Russia. The adjustments to the U.S. strategy reflected a shift in its center of policy gravity, behind which lay a conceptual and cognitive change. In the seven years that followed, the United States continuously reinforced Ukraine-related deterrent capabilities to prevent Russia from taking further action. Specifically, the United States made two main adjustments to its strategic design. The first was to launch a strategic initiative to deter Russia. On June 3, 2014, Obama announced the “European Reassurance Initiative,” which requested 1.0 billion U.S. dollars in fiscal year 2015 as aid to the relevant European countries in order to calm NATO allies and deter Russia. It primarily included an increase in exercises, training, and rotations in Eastern Europe; the deployment of detachments of U.S. planners to help allies to strengthen their ability to design and organize training and exercises; the pre-deployment of military equipment and improvement of infrastructure in European countries to facilitate rapid deployment of U.S. forces; an increase in U.S. naval deployments in the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea; and the establishment of close partnerships with Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. 2 However, the European Reassurance Initiative merely resolved some of the concerns of the United States’ European allies. Militarily, it contained little that was new and it could not cope with Russia’s military operations in eastern Ukraine. In February 2018, the United States changed the name of the European Reassurance Initiative to the European Deterrence Initiative, with the aim of continuing to strengthen the U.S. deterrent and defensive posture, committing to the protection of the territorial integrity of NATO allies and partners, and improving the preparedness and reaction capabilities of U.S. forces and allies.

三是在战略上支持乌克兰,向其提供一揽子援助。在危机爆发之初,美国的反应是基于危机应对模式,即美国必须申明立场和展示决心,并针对北约盟友对俄罗斯的恐惧和忧虑予以安抚。随着局势稳定,美国强化了战略谋划,加大了对乌克兰的军事援助,从而加强了对俄罗斯的威慑。美国战略调整反映的是其政策重心的转变,背后是思维和认知的改变。在随后长达七年的时间里,美国不断强化在乌克兰问题上的威慑能力,防止俄罗斯进一步采取行动。具体而言,美国在战略设计上主要进行了两方面的调整。一方面,提出威慑俄罗斯的战略倡议。2014年6月3日,奥巴马宣布了“欧洲再保证倡议”,要求2015财年拨款10亿美元援助欧洲相关国家,以安抚欧洲盟友和威慑俄罗斯。其主要内容包括:在东欧地区增加演习、训练和轮流驻扎;部署美国规划人员的分遣队,帮助盟友强化设计和主办训练和演习的能力;预先部署军事设备和改善欧洲国家的基础设施,以方便美国部队快速部署;增加美国海军在黑海和波罗的海的部署;与格鲁吉亚、摩尔多瓦和乌克兰建立更亲密的伙伴关系。然而,“欧洲再保证倡议”仅仅解决了美国欧洲盟友的部分忧虑,其军事上的新内容有限,无法应对俄罗斯在乌克兰东部地区的军事行动。2018年2月,美国在将“欧洲再保证倡议”更名为“欧洲威慑倡议”,旨在继续加强美国的威慑和防务态势,承诺保护北约盟国和伙伴的领土完整,提高美军和盟友的准备状态和反应能力。

In terms of content, the European Reassurance Initiative and the European Deterrence Initiative introduced by the United States covered five main areas: augmenting military presence, exercises and training, reinforcing pre-deployments, improving infrastructure, and building up partnership capabilities. In terms of funding flows, augmenting military presence, and reinforcing pre-deployments accounted for the largest shares (Figure 1). The reason for this was that the United States, needing to react to the Russian military operations, carried out deployments on a rotational basis in Eastern Europe, thus strengthening its military presence there and sending a message of deterrence to Russia. In addition, the United States also became aware of the need to pre-deploy military hardware and strategic resources in order to reduce redeployment time and costs in the event of a conflict and to raise war readiness. Therefore, whether viewed in terms of its name or its policy focus, the European Deterrence Initiative placed more emphasis on putting on a show of strength to Russia in an attempt to reinforce deterrence so as to dissuade Russia from taking military action.

从内容上来看,美国提出的“欧洲再保证倡议”和“欧洲威慑倡议”主要涵盖五个方面,即增加军事存在、演习和培训、强化预先部署、改善基础设施、建设伙伴关系能力。从倡议的资金流向来看,增加军事存在和强化预先部署所占份额最大(图1)。其原因在于,美国必须对俄罗斯的军事行动有所反应,在东欧地区进行轮换部署,增强军事存在,向俄罗斯发出威慑信号。此外,美国也意识到,有必要对武器装备和战略物资进行预先部署,减少冲突发生时再部署的时间和成本,提高战备状态。因此,不管是从名称上看,还是从政策重心来看,“欧洲威慑倡议”都更加注重向俄罗斯展示实力,试图强化威慑,以吓阻俄罗斯采取军事行动。

Figure 2        U.S. security aid to Ukraine in fiscal years 2013-2020 (100 million U.S. dollars)

图2   2013~2020财年美国对乌克兰的安全援助(亿美元)

Source of information: Elias Yousif, “U.S. Military Assistance to Ukraine,” https://www.stimson.org/2022/u-s-military-assistance-to-ukraine/. (Accessed on January 6, 2022)
资料来源:Elias Yousif ,“U.S. Military Assistance to Ukraine, ”https://www.stimson.org/2022/u-s-military-assistance-to-ukraine/(上网时间:2022年1月6日)

The second major adjustment was to reinforce security cooperation with Ukraine. Following the eruption of the Crimean crisis, the United States promptly enhanced its security relationship with Ukraine. In addition to assisting Ukraine in security matters, the United States’ initial actions included supporting Ukraine in establishing security and stability, coping with humanitarian and reconstruction needs, conducting democratic elections and constitutional reforms, bringing about economic recovery, and fighting corruption. Security aid was just one aspect of the U.S. initial aid package to Ukraine, and it was not even the most important aspect. This was because the urgent task facing the United States was to help Ukraine cope with a small-scale war. Helping Ukraine prepare for a large-scale war was a medium-term or long-term task. Moreover, the Obama administration tried to occupy the moral high ground by emphasizing the role of values in its foreign policy. However, the United States quickly realized the critical importance of security cooperation with Ukraine. With the support of NATO, Ukraine initiated defense reform in 2015. It planned to increase its military strength, reinforce interoperability between Ukraine’s armed forces and NATO, and establish credible military deterrence against Russia. Under the Trump administration, the United States further raised the level of its security cooperation with Ukraine. The United States and Ukraine entered a stage of in-depth cooperation. In 2019, by means of a constitutional amendment, Ukraine wrote accession to NATO into its constitution. This act won a positive response from the United States. On June 12, 2020, Ukraine received “NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner status,” which provided further institutional safeguards for enhancing partnership interoperability between NATO and Ukraine.

另一方面,强化与乌克兰的安全合作。在克里米亚危机爆发后,美国及时提升与乌克兰的安全关系。美国最初对乌克兰除了安全方面的援助,还包括支持乌克兰建立安全与稳定的工作、应对人道主义和重建需求、进行民主选举和宪法改革、恢复经济和打击腐败。安全援助只是美国最初对乌克兰一揽子援助的一方面,甚至不是最重要的方面。这是因为美国的迫切任务是帮助乌克兰应对小规模战斗,援助乌克兰准备大规模战斗是中长期的任务,并且奥巴马政府试图占据道义制高点,强调价值观在外交政策中的作用。然而,美国很快意识到强化与乌克兰的安全合作至关重要。在北约的支持下,乌克兰在2015年启动了防务改革,计划提升军事实力,强化乌克兰军队与北约之间互操作性,建立应对俄罗斯可信的军事威慑。特朗普政府时期,美国进一步提升了与乌克兰安全合作的水平,美乌两国进入到深度合作阶段。2019年,乌克兰通过宪法修正案,将加入北约写入宪法,此举获得了美国的积极回应。2020年6月12日,乌克兰获得“北约增强伙伴国地位”,为北约和乌克兰提升伙伴关系互操作性进一步提供了制度保障。

The United States shifted its focus from political issues to security issues with the objective of helping Ukraine to improve its military capabilities for deterring Russia. When the Crimean crisis erupted in 2014, Ukraine’s national defense system had already been in disrepair for many years. The armed forces lacked combat experience and basic strategic materials. Overall, they performed very poorly. Therefore, the United States and its allies provided the Ukrainian armed forces with large-scale military aid in the four areas below.

美国从关注政治问题转向聚焦安全问题,目的是尽快帮助乌克兰提升威慑俄罗斯的军事能力。2014年克里米亚危机爆发之时,乌克兰的国防体系已经年久失修,军队缺乏战斗经验和基本的战略物资,整体上表现得非常糟糕。为此,美国及其盟友对乌克兰军队从以下四个方面进行了大规模军事援助。

First was the provision of financial aid. After the Crimean crisis, Ukraine greatly increased its own military budget. According to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, military spending accounted for just 1.6% of Ukraine’s gross domestic product in 2013, but this proportion rose to 3.2% in 2021. 3 At the same time, the United States and its allies also greatly expanded their security aid to Ukraine. According to statistics, U.S. financial aid to Ukraine underwent a large increase beginning in 2014 and totaled more than 2.7 billion U.S. dollars as of 2020 (Figure 2). U.S. military aid programs to Ukraine are relatively complex. The main sources are the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, overseen by the Department of Defense, and Foreign Military Support, overseen by the State Department. According to statistics from the U.S. Congressional Research Service, these two projects provided approximately 1.317 billion U.S. dollars and 624 million U.S. dollars, respectively, of security aid to Ukraine in fiscal years 2016 through 2021. 4 In addition, Cooperative Threat Reduction, the European Deterrence Initiative, and International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement also provided some funding.

第一,提供资金援助。克里米亚危机之后,乌克兰大幅提高了自身的军事预算。根据斯德哥尔摩和平研究所的数据,2013年乌克兰的军费开支仅占国内生产总值的1.6%,而这一比例在2021年提作削减威胁计划”、“欧洲威慑倡议”和“国际反毒品和执法项目”也提供了部分资金。

Second was the strengthening of personnel training. As early as April 2015, the United States sent 300 soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade to train troops in Ukraine. Then, to cope with external threats from Russia, the United States led the establishment of an interoperable combat training center operated by NATO. In this combat training center, the U.S. military has continually been stationing units in Ukraine on a rotating basis to train troops there as a way of reversing the trends of Ukraine’s post-Cold War neglect of training, infrastructure construction, and equipment procurement and of strengthening the Ukrainian military’s deterrent capabilities. An analysis of the statistics shows that, from fiscal year 2015 to fiscal year 2019, the United States provided military training to at least 10,629 Ukrainian personnel. 5 Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO, also acknowledged that: “Over the years, Allies have trained tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops.” 6 This training has been very helpful in enabling the Ukrainian military to become familiar with NATO intelligence transmissions and in raising their battlefield situation awareness. Some analysis indicates that, having undergone both NATO training and battlefield combat experience, the new generation of Ukrainian soldiers have overturned the top-down Soviet leadership model and are causing lethal damage to the Russian army [translator’s note: the English text cited actually states that it is ‘the old Soviet model of top-down leadership that has paralyzed Russian units…’; the Chinese seems to be a mistaken reading of this point]. 7

第二,加强人员培训。早在2015年4月,美国就派遣第173空降旅的300名士兵赴乌克兰培训军队。随后,为了应对俄罗斯的外部威胁,美国主导建立了由北约运营、可以互相操作的作战训练中心。在这个作战训练中心内,美军一直在通过轮换方式入驻乌克兰训练军队,以扭转乌克兰在冷战后忽视士兵训练、基础设施建设和装备采购方面的势头,提高乌克兰军队的防御能力。有分析统计,美国在2015财年至2019财年期间至少为10629名乌克兰受训人员提供了军事培训。北约秘书长延斯·斯托尔滕贝格也承认:“过去几年,北约国家已经训练了成千上万名乌克兰军人。”这些训练,对乌克兰军队熟悉北约的情报输送和提高战场态势升到了3.2%。与此同时,美国及其盟友也大幅扩大了对乌克兰的安全援助。根据统计,美国援助乌克兰的资金自2014年以来大幅增加,截止到2020年总额超过27亿美元(图2)。美国对乌克兰的军事援助项目比较繁杂,最主要来源是国防部主持的“乌克兰安全援助计划”和国务院主持的“外国军事援助计划”。根据美国国会研究局的统计,这两个项目在2016~2021财年分别向乌克兰提供了约13.17亿美元和6.24亿美元的安全援助。此外,“合感知有很大的帮助。有分析指出,经过北约的训练,以及经历了战场的实战经验,乌克兰新一代军人已经颠覆了自上而下的苏联领导模式,对俄罗斯军队形成了致命的杀伤。

Third was the provision of weapons and equipment support. Because U.S.-Russian relations are highly sensitive, and initially the main goal of the United States was to help Ukraine to fight the anti-government armed forces in eastern Ukraine, the aid provided by the United States was “non-lethal aid,” mainly consisting of Humvees, medical supplies, body armor, and radar systems. However, Trump adjusted the relevant U.S. policies in December 2017, giving the greenlight to the sale of lethal weapons to Ukraine. On February 28, 2018, the U.S. State Department permitted the sale of 210 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 37 launchers. Javelin anti-tank missiles are portable anti-tank weapons that, by using infrared focal plane array seekers, have powerful target recognition capability and are lethally effective against tanks and infantry. Thus, this move reinforced deterrence against Russia. Ukraine subsequently used Foreign Military Support and national funds to procure equipment such as Javelin anti-tank missiles and Mark VI patrol boats through the Foreign Military Sales system. It procured large quantities of guns, ammunition, and other laser imaging guidance equipment by means of direct commercial sale. The army also provided important equipment such as sniper rifles, counter battery radars, satellite image and analysis capabilities, and anti-UAV systems.

第三,支援武器装备。由于美俄关系具有高度的敏感性,以及最初美国主要的目的是帮助乌克兰打击乌东地区的反政府武装力量,因此美国提供的援助都是“非致命性援助”,主要包括悍马军用车、医疗用品、防弹衣和雷达系统。但特朗普在2017年12月调整了美国相关政策,打开了向乌克兰出售杀伤性武器的绿灯。2018年2月28日,美国国务院准许向乌克兰出售210枚“标枪”反坦克导弹和37套发射装置。由于“标枪”反坦克导弹是便携式的反坦克武器,采用红外焦平面阵列导引头,目标识别能力强,可以对坦克和步兵战车形成致命杀伤,该举措强化了对俄罗斯的威慑。此后,乌克兰使用“外国军事援助计划”和国家资金通过对外军售系统采购了“标枪”反坦克导弹和Mk6巡逻艇等装备,通过直接商业销售采购了大量枪支弹药和其他激光成像制导装备,陆军也提供了狙击步枪、反炮兵雷达、卫星图像和分析能力、反无人机系统等重要装备。

Fourth was the improvement of interoperability. The United States guided Ukraine towards integration with the NATO system and improved its interoperability with the NATO military system. This process specifically involved three steps. First was strengthening security cooperation mechanisms. After obtaining “NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner status” in 2020, Ukraine was able to participate in all military actions and exercises within the NATO framework and to obtain more military aid and intelligence support. Second was the large-quantity procurement of NATO weapons, equipment, and combat systems, and the systematic study of NATO operational concepts. Third was the reinforcement of training through military exercises. The aim of Exercise Rapid Trident, held once a year by Ukraine and NATO, was to strengthen Ukraine’s interoperability with NATO and to display the military preparedness of NATO and Ukraine. The scale of this exercise exhibited a continuous upward trend. From 1,300 in 2014, the number of participants grew to 6,000 in 2021.

第四,提高互操作性。美国引导乌克兰融入北约体系,提高其与北约军事体系的互操作性,具体而言有三种措施。一是强化安全合作机制。乌克兰2020年获得“北约增强伙伴国地位”后,可以参与北约框架内的所有军事行动和演习,获得更多的军事援助和情报支持。二是大量采购北约的武器装备和作战系统,系统学习北约的作战理念。三是通过军事演习强化训练。乌克兰和北约之间一年一度的“快速三叉戟”军事演习旨在加强乌克兰与北约的互操作性,展示北约和乌克兰的军事准备状态。其演习的规模呈现出不断上升的态势,参与演习人数从2014年的1300人增加到2021年的6000人。

There were two aspects to the United States’ basic strategic design and strategic plans in the 2014–2021 period: while reinforcing its security relationship with Ukraine, it increased Ukraine’s deterrent capabilities so as to dissuade Russia from further action. At the same time that it was reinforcing bilateral security relations, the United States sought to promote a transformation of Ukraine’s defense. That is, while de-Sovietizing institutional systems, weapons and equipment, and operational concepts, it NATO-ized combat systems. Through seven years of effort, there was a huge improvement in the defensive and deterrent capabilities of Ukraine’s armed forces. 8

美国在2014~2021年期间的基本战略设计和战略运筹有两个方面,即强化与乌克兰安全关系的同时,提升乌克兰的威慑能力,以吓阻俄罗斯的进一步行动。美国意在强化双边安全关系,同时推动乌克兰在防务上转型,在制度体系、武器装备和作战理念上去苏联化,同时在作战体系上北约化。经过七年的努力,乌克兰军队的防御能力和威慑能力有了极大的提升。

II. Employing the U.S. Deterrence Strategy

二、美国威慑战略的运用

From 2021, Russia-Ukraine relations took a sudden turn for the worse, and the Ukraine crisis again escalated. On March 25, Ukrainian President Zelensky approved the new Military Security Strategy, confirming that Russia was still Ukraine’s military enemy. On July 12, Russian President Putin published a long essay, On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians, in which he maintained the notion that Russians and Ukrainians were one people. On November 10, the United States and Ukraine signed the U.S.-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership, which clearly spelled out U.S. support for Ukraine against an armed Russian invasion. The related Ukrainian policies elicited a strong reaction from Russia, which massed more than 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border. Putin also presented demands to the United States and NATO, insisting that Ukraine never be allowed to join NATO and threatening to use military force. Under these circumstances, the Biden administration tried using a deterrence strategy to deter Russia. It mainly made use of the following three methods.

进入2021年以后,俄乌关系急转直下,乌克兰危机再次升级。3月25日,乌克兰总统泽连斯基批准新“军事安全战略”,确定俄罗斯仍是乌克兰的军事敌人。7月12日,俄罗斯总统普京发表长文《论俄罗斯人和乌克兰人的历史统一》,坚持认为俄罗斯人和乌克兰人是一个民族。11月10日,美乌两国签署了《美乌战略合作伙伴宪章》,明确规定美国支持乌克兰抗击俄罗斯的武装侵略。乌克兰的相关政策引起了俄罗斯的强烈反应,并在乌克兰边境陈兵十余万。普京也向美国和北约提出要求,坚持乌克兰永远不能加入北约,并威胁使用武力。在此局势下,拜登政府试图运用威慑战略吓阻俄罗斯,主要使用了以下三种手段。

The first method was to convey a clear deterrence message. After November 2021, having used its intelligence systems to gain a clear picture of Russia’s strategic intentions and military deployments, the Biden administration became greatly concerned about the situation. Faced with a new round of the Ukraine crisis, the Biden administration uncharacteristically declared right away that it would not send troops to intervene in conflict, but at the same time it also tried to send Russia a clear deterrence message in an effort to dissuade Russia from military action. To summarize, the United States clearly issued three deterrence signals to Russia. The first deterrence signal was to threaten Russia with unprecedented economic and financial sanctions if it took military action. This appeared in three calls between Biden and Putin and in multiple statements by senior U.S. officials. Biden clearly stated in a December 7, 2021 video call with Putin that “the United States and its allies would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of military escalation.” 9 On December 30, Biden spoke with Putin by phone and threatened that Russia would suffer severe sanctions if it took military action and that there would be “a heavy price to pay for it.” 10 In another call between Biden and Putin on February 12, 2022, Biden reiterated that the sanctions by the United States and its allies would “impose swift and severe costs on Russia.” It is not hard to see that the intention of the United States was to send a message of deterrence to the senior leadership of Russia. That is, it could force Russia to pay a heavy price through economic sanctions without having to dispatch troops. As U.S. Secretary of State Blinken said, “The purpose of the sanctions in the first instance is to try to deter Russia from going to war. As soon as you trigger them, that deterrent is gone. And until the last minute, as long as we can try to bring a deterrent effect to this, we’re going to try to do that.” 11

首先,传递清晰的威胁信号。2021年11月后,拜登政府通过情报系统掌握了俄罗斯的战略意图和军事部署情况,对局势充满了关切和忧虑。面对新一轮乌克兰危机,拜登政府一反常态,早早就宣布不会出兵干涉冲突,但同时试图向俄罗斯发出清晰的信号,以求吓阻俄罗斯的军事行动。归纳而言,美国明确向俄罗斯一再发出三类威胁信号。一是威胁俄罗斯,如果其采取军事行动,美国将给予其前所未有的经济和金融制裁,这在拜登与普京的三次通话及美国高层的多次表态中均有体现。2021年12月7日,拜登在与普京举行的视频通话时明确表示:“如果发生军事升级,美国及其盟友将采取强有力的经济和其他措施。”12月30日,拜登与普京通电话,他恫吓俄罗斯采取军事行动将遭受严厉制裁,并且“付出的代价将是沉重的”。2022年2月12日,拜登与普京再次通电话,拜登重申美国及其盟友的制裁将“给俄罗斯带来迅速而严重的代价”。不难看出,美国的意图是向俄罗斯最高领导层发出威胁信号,即它可以在不出兵的情况下,通过经济制裁让俄罗斯付出沉重代价。正如美国国务卿布林肯所言:“制裁的目的首先是试图吓阻俄罗斯走向战争,一旦你触发它们,这种威慑力就消失了。在最后一刻之前,只要我们能为此带来威慑效果,我们就会努力做到这一点。”

The second deterrence signal was to warn Russia that it would be isolated by the international community if it took military action. The United States threatened to expel Russia from Western society and to attack Russia’s international standing. On January 25, 2022, the Biden administration issued a severe warning to Russia: the United States, in conjunction with its allies and partners, has prepared economic deterrence measures, including severe economic sanctions and export controls. The former will have an obvious impact on the day they are implemented, and the latter will weaken Russia in the medium term. 12 Biden stated to Putin on several occasions that these sanctions by the United States and its allies would exceed the 2014 sanctions in their intensity and would have a profound and long-lasting impact on Russia. During the February 12 call, Biden threatened Putin, saying that Russia’s military action would cause widespread human suffering and weaken Russia’s standing, with the result that Russia would become internationally isolated.13 At the Munich Security Conference on February 19, U.S. Vice President Harris also issued a threat, namely that the U.S. sanctions would “target those who are complicit and those who aid and abet this unprovoked invasion.” 14

二是警告俄罗斯如果采取军事行动将被国际社会孤立。美国威胁将俄罗斯清理出西方社会,打击俄罗斯的国际地位。2022年1月25日,拜登政府向俄罗斯发出严重警告,美国已经联合盟友和伙伴准备好了包括严厉经济制裁和出口管控在内的经济威慑措施,前者实施之日即产生明显影响,而后者将使俄罗斯在中期上处于弱势。拜登多次向普京表示,此次美国及其盟友的制裁将超过2014年的力度,会对俄罗斯产生深远的影响。在 2月 12日的通话中,拜登威胁普京,俄罗斯的军事行动将造成广泛的人类痛苦,并削弱俄罗斯的地位,使俄罗斯陷入国际孤立。在2月19日的慕尼黑安全会议上,美国副总统哈里斯也发出威胁,美国的制裁“将针对那些同谋者以及那些援助和怂恿这场无端入侵者”。

The third deterrence signal was to threaten to provide military assistance to Ukraine to make it difficult for Russia to win a war or to make it pay a heavy price for launching a war. In early discussions within the U.S. policy community, some analysts recommended large increases in military aid to Ukraine. They believed that the United States would have to accelerate delivery of the relevant military hardware to prevent Russia from quickly achieving victory. This would lower Russian military effectiveness and increase the strategic cost to Russia of taking military action. 15 During the December 7, 2021 video call, Biden threatened Putin, saying: “We would provide additional defensive material to the Ukrainians, above and beyond that which we already provided. And we would fortify our NATO allies on the eastern flank with additional capabilities in response to such an escalation.” 16 Such deterrence signaling by the United States was a way of warning Russia that it would not win a war easily and that war would become a quagmire which would continuously wear it down.

—是俄罗斯的军事部署和军事准备情况。2021年12月3日,拜登政府向《华盛顿邮报》透露了一份包括卫星地图的情报文件:根据美国情报部门击俄罗斯的国际地位。2022年1月25日,拜登政府向俄罗斯发出严重警告,美国已经联合盟友和伙伴准备好了包括严厉经济制裁和出口管控在内的经济威慑措施,前者实施之日即产生明显影响,而后者将使俄罗斯在中期上处于弱势。拜登多次向普京表示,此次美国及其盟友的制裁将超过2014年的力度,会对俄罗斯产生深远的影响。在2月12日的通话中,拜登威胁普京,俄罗斯的军事行动将造成广泛的人类痛苦,并削弱俄罗斯的地位,使俄罗斯陷入国际孤立。在2月19日的慕尼黑安全会议上,美国副总统哈里斯也发出威胁,美国的制裁“将针对那些同谋者以及那些援助和怂恿这场无端入侵者”。

The second method was to announce relevant intelligence. Back in the fall of 2021, Biden signed a decryption and intelligence-sharing plan designed and overseen by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. This plan won the support of Secretary of State Blinken, Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns, and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines. On November 2, Biden sent a delegation headed by CIA Director Burns to Moscow. In a meeting with Putin, they expressed their serious concern over the Russian military buildup and claimed that the United States had already come into possession of intelligence on Russia’s imminent invasion of Ukraine. The Biden administration then used multiple channels to disclose a large amount of intelligence information.

三是美国威胁将在军事上援助乌克兰,让俄罗斯难以获得战争胜利或为发动战争付出沉重代价。在美国政策界的早期讨论中,有分析者就建议大幅增加对乌克兰的军事援助。他们认为,为了阻止俄罗斯迅速取得胜利,美国需要加快交付相关武器装备,这会降低俄罗斯的军事效能,增加俄罗斯采取军事行动的战略成本。在 2021 年 12 月 7 日的视频通话中,拜登威胁普京道:“我们将向乌克兰提供更多的防御性物资,超过我们已经提供的,我们将强化北约东部盟友的防务,为应对这种升级提供更多的能力。”美国这种威慑的信号,是在告诫俄罗斯不会轻易赢得战争,而且会深陷战争并不断被消耗。

First, was [intelligence on] Russian military deployments and military preparations. On December 3, 2021, the Biden administration disclosed an intelligence document to the Washington Post that included satellite images: according to information in the possession of U.S. intelligence departments, Russia had massed 175,000 troops on the Ukraine border.17 On January 13, 2022, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) also issued a warning that “Russia may invade Ukraine” and conducted military simulations to analyze in detail possible Russian military attack directions.18 On January 28, the U.S. intelligence agencies announced that the Russian military buildup near Ukraine had expanded to include the supply of blood and other medical resources and that they regarded this as a key indicator of Russian military preparations. In response to the military withdrawal announced by Russia on February 15, the United States stated that, according to the intelligence in its possession, the withdrawal from the Ukrainian border announced by Russia was a meticulously designed trick intended to mislead the United States and other powers. Second, was the announcement of specific dates on which Russia might take military action. Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, National Security Advisor Sullivan, and relevant personnel of the intelligence departments on more than 10 occasions publicly released warnings that Russia would invade Ukraine on a specific date. The clearest of these was the Biden administration’s call to Americans in Ukraine to depart. On February 11, U.S. National Security Advisor Sullivan, calling for the departure of Americans from Ukraine, expressed the opinion that “the risk is now high enough and the threat is now urgent enough.” 19 The Biden administration used this to send a message to Russia. That is, it asked Russia to prove that “we were wrong.” To a great extent, this disrupted Russia’s war plans. Third, was the disclosure of intelligence relating to Russian “false flag operations” and “decapitation strikes.” The United States responded in a targeted way to Russian information concerning Ukrainian attacks on civilians and military operations against eastern Ukraine. By disclosing a propaganda video made by Russia and announcing in advance potential Russian moves to launch “false flag” operations, the United States aimed to stop Russia from “framing” Ukraine and prevent it from using this incident as an excuse for taking military action. Sullivan claimed that Russia had a “kill list” and was planning to detain or kill Zelensky and other famous Ukrainian figures.20 By proactively disclosing intelligence, the Biden administration hoped to call Putin’s bluff and defeat Russia’s plans.

其次,公布相关情报。早在 2021 年秋天,拜登就签署了由美国国家安全助理杰克·沙利文设计和主持的解密和分享情报计划,这一计划得到了国务卿布林肯、中央情报局局长威廉·伯恩斯和国家情报局局长艾薇儿·海恩斯的支持。11月2日,拜登派中央情报局局长伯恩斯率团前往莫斯科,在与普京会见时表达了对俄罗斯军事集结的严重担忧,并称美国已经掌握了俄罗斯即将入侵乌克兰的情报。随后,拜登政府通过多种渠道公开了诸多情报信息。

During the current Russia-Ukraine conflict, the United States’ intelligence about Russian military operations has been very accurate. The reason for this is that the United States has adjusted its intelligence organization systems, which for the past 20 years had been concentrating on the war on terror, shifting their focus to competition with China and Russia. In early 2020, the CIA underwent a comprehensive review and reorganization so as to emphasize strategic thinking rather than reporting matters that occurred just five minutes ago. In October 2021, the CIA strengthened existing centers and established the China Mission Center, focusing on gathering intelligence about China and Russia and concentrating particularly on collecting and analyzing intelligence on the highest-level leaders of China and Russia. The United States also made ample use of open-source intelligence and obtained much open-source information from on the ground in Ukraine. Some even came from Russian territory. In addition, the U.S. government also encouraged companies to share commercial satellite photographs with the U.S. government, to track Russian military deployments and battlefield situations, giving a huge boost to U.S. intelligence work. The U.S. choice to disclose intelligence was thoroughly weighed and discussed. First, it was felt that credible intelligence could deter Russia from initiating the war. In his speech to the United Nations, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken said, “If Russia doesn’t invade Ukraine, then we will be relieved that Russia changed course and proved our predictions wrong.”21 Second, it was felt that it would disrupt Russia’s war plans. In the intelligence war between the United States and Russia, the following pattern emerged: whenever Russia declared an intention, the United States immediately released some evidence that Russia was lying. This caused enormous damage to Russia. In a U.S. Senate hearing on March 10, 2022, CIA Director Burns stated: “We have had a great deal of effect disrupting their tactics and their calculations and demonstrating to the entire world that this is premeditated and unprovoked aggression built on a body of lies and false narratives.”22 Third, it was felt that disclosing intelligence would spur the relevant European countries to change their view of the Russia-Ukraine situation. In November 2021, the United States initiated multilateral, high-level cooperation with the intelligence agencies of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy, but the European countries felt that there was still room for negotiation. The publication of this intelligence gradually changed the views of France and Germany and to a great extent unified the European allies.

一是俄罗斯的军事部署和军事准备情况。2021年12月3日,拜登政府向《华盛顿邮报》透露了一份包括卫星地图的情报文件:根据美国情报部门掌握的信息,俄罗斯在乌克兰边境集结了 17.5万名士兵。2022年 1月 13日,美国战略与国际问题研究中心(CSIS)也发出“俄罗斯有可能入侵乌克兰”的警告,并进行兵棋推演,详细分析了俄罗斯可能的军事进攻方向。1 月 28 日,美国情报机构公布了俄罗斯在乌克兰附近军事集结扩大到血液和其他医疗物资的供应上,并将其视为俄罗斯军事准备的一个关键指标。针对俄罗斯 2月 15日宣布撤军,美国表示,根据其掌握的情报,俄罗斯宣布从乌克兰边境撤军是精心设计的诡计,意在误导美国和其他大国。二是公布俄罗斯可能采取军事行动的具体日期。拜登、国务卿布林肯、国家安全顾问沙利文以及情报部门有关人员等前后 10 余次公开释放出俄罗斯入侵乌克兰具体日期的警告。其中,以拜
登政府呼吁在乌克兰的美国人撤离信号最为清楚。2月11日,美国国家安全顾问沙利文呼吁在乌克兰的美国人撤离,认为“风险足够高,威胁足够紧迫”。拜登政府借此向俄罗斯传递一个信息,即请俄自己证明“我们错了”。这在很大程度上打乱了俄罗斯的战争布局。三是公开俄罗斯“假旗行动”和“斩首行动”的相关情报。针对俄罗斯关于乌克兰袭击平民和对乌东地区的军事行动等信息,美国作出了有针对性的回应。美国公开了俄罗斯制作的一段宣传视频,事先公布俄国发起“假旗”行动的潜在举措,以阻止俄罗斯“陷害”乌克兰,避免俄罗斯使用这一事件作为采取军事行动的借口。沙利文宣称,俄罗斯有一份“杀戮名单”,计划拘留或杀害泽连斯基和其他乌克兰知名人士。拜登政府希望通过主动公开情报,回击普京的虚张声势,挫败俄罗斯的计划。

The third method was to reinforce the military presence in Eastern Europe and increase military aid to Ukraine to send a powerful signal to Russia. As the Ukrainian situation deteriorated, the United States increased military aid to Ukraine. In late November 2021, the United States dispatched an additional 160 members of the Florida National Guard to Ukraine to provide training, advice, and guidance to the Ukrainian military. The United States also increased weapons aid to Ukraine. According to statistics, the United States has provided in excess of 6.4 billion U.S. dollars in security aid for the purpose of training and equipping the Ukrainians. 23The United States also mobilized its NATO allies to take Soviet-style weapons from their stocks and supply them as aid to Ukraine. In addition, the United States also reinforced its defensive deployments in Eastern Europe so as to increase the strategic deterrence against Russia. On January 24, 2022, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered 8,500 U.S. soldiers to be placed on “heightened preparedness” for possible deployment to Eastern Europe. On February 2, the United States dispatched 1,700 troops to Poland. On February 11, Biden ordered 3,000 more troops to Poland in addition to 300 troops deployed earlier from Germany, making a total of 5,000 troops. Lastly, the United States also united with its allies. It reinforced strategic cooperation with its NATO allies and thereby demonstrated resolve to Russia.

再次,强化在东欧的军事存在,加大对乌克兰的军事援助,向俄罗斯传递强硬信号。在俄乌局势恶化之际,美国增加了对乌克兰的军事援助。2021年11月下旬,美国增派160名佛罗里达州国民警卫队成员到乌克兰,为乌克兰军队提供训练、咨询和指导。美国也增加了对乌克兰的武器援助。根据统计,自2014年以来,美国为训练和装备提供了超过64亿美元的安全援助。美国还动员北约盟友去库存,将拥有的苏式武器援助乌克兰。此外,美国还强化了在东欧地区的防御部署,以提高对俄罗斯的战略威慑。2022年1月24日,美国国防部长劳埃德·奥斯汀命令8500名美国士兵进入“高度戒备”状态,以备部署到东欧。2月2日,美国向波兰派遣1700名士兵。2月11日,拜登命令第二批3000名士兵部署到波兰,加上之前部署德国的300名,一共5000名。最后,美国还联合盟友,强化北约盟友之间的战略配合,向俄罗斯展示决心。

To summarize the above analysis, the United States not only sent threatening signals and made full use of a strategy of intelligence disclosures, but also reinforced the military presence in Eastern Europe, thereby demonstrating resolve to Russia in an attempt to deter Russia from taking military action. The basic intention of the United States was, by means of coercive threats, to force a change in the cost-benefit calculations of Russia’s military action decision-making process and thus to change Russia’s military behavior. The conceptual basis for this was the Biden administration’s “integrated deterrence” concept. That is, emphasizing the combination of new technologies, combat concepts, hard power, and allies and thereby forming a reliable, flexible, and powerful network approach.

综合以上分析,美国不仅通过释放威胁信号,充分利用公开情报这一策略,还在东欧强化军事存在,向俄罗斯展示决心,以试图吓阻俄罗斯采取军事行动。美国的基本意图在于,通过强制性威胁,迫使俄罗斯改变军事行动决策过程中的成本和收益计算,进而改变俄罗斯的战略行为。其理念基础是拜登政府的“一体化威慑”概念,即强调将新技术、作战概念、硬实力和盟友进行组合,进而形成一种可靠、灵活和强大的网络方式。

III. Escalating the U.S. Deterrence Strategy

三、美国威慑战略的升级

Russian President Putin first ordered the army into the two regions of Donetsk and Lugansk and then decided to send the troops into Ukraine. The fact that the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out again signified the failure of the United States’ strategy to attempt to dissuade Russia from military action through deterrence methods. So why did the U.S. deterrence strategy for the Ukraine issue fail? In theory, deterrence involves two sets of factors, that is, the relationship between strength and resolve and the relationship between coercive threats and reassurance. In academia, more people pay attention to the former, and relatively few pay attention to the latter. Regarding the latter, Thomas Schelling believed that any coercive threat required corresponding reassurance. 24 By examining these two relationships, one can pinpoint the root of the U.S. failure to deter Russia.

俄罗斯总统普京先是命令军队进入顿涅茨克和卢甘斯克两个地区,随后决定全面出兵乌克兰。俄乌冲突再次爆发,这意味着美国试图通过威慑手段吓阻俄罗斯采取军事行动的战略失败了。那么,美国在乌克兰问题上的威慑战略为什么会失败?在理论上,威慑涉及到两组因素,即实力和决心的关系,以及强制性威胁和再保证的关系。学术界关注前者较多,关注后者相对较少。对于后者,托马斯·谢林认为,任何强制性威胁都需要相应的再保证。考察这两组关系,可以分析出美国威慑俄罗斯失败的症结所在。

There were two problems with the U.S. deterrence strategy. First, the United States put too much emphasis on coercive threats and not enough on sending reassurance signals to Russia. The eastward expansion of NATO following the Cold War has formed a major security threat to Russia. The United States has long failed to give adequate attention to Russia’s security concerns. Of course, geopolitical and structural factors played a part in this, but the United States’ own strategic errors cannot be overlooked. In particular, Ukraine’s reorientation to the West and NATO’s continuous reinforcement of military aid to Ukraine were matters of serious concern to Russia, and the United States failed to reassure Russia on these core issues. These situations hardened the Russians’ understanding of the threats and reinforced their own sense of the reasonableness of taking military action.

对美国而言,其威慑战略存在两个问题。其一,美国过于侧重发出强制性威胁,对俄罗斯发出的再保证信号不够。冷战后的北约东扩对俄罗斯形成了重大的安全威胁,对于俄罗斯的安全关切,美国长期以来关注不够。这固然有地缘政治和结构性因素的原因,但是美国自身战略失误也不能忽视。尤其是对于乌克兰倒向西方,以及北约不断强化对乌克兰的军事援助问题,俄罗斯有严重关切,而美国并未在核心问题上安抚俄罗斯。这些事态坚定了俄罗斯对威胁的认知,强化了其采取军事行动的自我合理性。

Second, the Biden administration lacked a real military deterrent. The most powerful military deterrent would be U.S. resolve to dispatch troops. However, the United States declared early on in this Russia-Ukraine conflict that it would not intervene by sending in troops. The United States’ choice not to dispatch troops was made following a systematic evaluation. It was the logical choice. Ukraine is not a NATO member, nor is it of vital interest to the United States. Moreover, the United States has grown decadent in recent years and already lacks sufficient available resources for spending on war. The United States had already retreated from Afghanistan, and the desire not to become mired in another war was a consensus of the Biden administration. Therefore, the United States lacked sufficient military strength for a head on confrontation with Russia in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. However, by announcing too early on that it would not send troops, the Biden administration exposed a flaw in its deterrence strategy. Nadia Schadlow, who served as a Deputy National Security Advisor in the previous administration, said: “By signaling that the U.S. had no intention of using its capabilities, the Biden administration seriously weakened their deterrent value.” 25 U.S. Congressman Mike Gallagher also believes that, although it was of course important that the Biden administration emphasized new technologies and alliances, deterrence ultimately depended on the Russians’ assessment of existing U.S. military strength and of U.S. willingness to use it. The Biden administration’s reliance on non-military punitive threats to deter Putin inevitably resulted in deterrence failure. 26 John Bolton, a National Security Advisor in the previous administration, believes that the reason for the failure of the Biden administration’s deterrence strategy lay in the fact that, though the threats they issued would not be implemented until after Russia crossed the Ukraine border, the United States had already lost all credibility with regard to threats of punishment. In addition, U.S. military strength was not on the table. This was a unilateral concession made without forcing Putin to pay a price.27

其二,拜登政府缺乏切实的军事威慑。最有力的军事威慑应是美国出兵的决心,然而美国在此次俄乌冲突中早早就宣布不会出兵干涉。美国选择不出兵是经过系统性评估过的,是一种理性的选择。乌克兰并不是北约成员国,也非美国生死攸关的利益,而且近年来美国国势颓废,已经没有足够资源可供战争消耗。美国已从阿富汗撤军,不再陷入战争已经成为拜登政府的共识,因此美国在俄乌冲突中缺乏足够军事力量应对与俄罗斯的正面冲突。然而,拜登政府过早地宣布不出兵,暴露了威慑战略的破绽。美国前副国家安全顾问娜迪亚·沙德洛认为,“通过暗示美国无意使用其军事力量,拜登政府严重削弱了其威慑价值”。美国国会众议员麦克·加拉格尔也认为,拜登政府强调的新技术和联盟当然重要,但是威慑最终还是取决于俄罗斯对美国现有军事力量的评估以及美国是否愿意使用它,拜登政府依靠非军事惩罚性威胁来威慑普京,这必然会导致威慑失败。美国前国家安全顾问约翰·博尔顿认为,拜登政府威慑战略失败的原因在于,其发出的威胁只有在俄罗斯越过乌克兰边境后才会执行,然而美国在惩罚威胁方面的信誉已经荡然无存,加之美国的军事力量不在谈判桌上,这是一种单方面让步,没有让普京付出代价。

When making a strategic assessment, Putin was not sufficiently impressed by the threats issued by the Biden administration, or he underestimated the scope and intensity of the sanctions that would be imposed by the United States and its allies. On the one hand, Putin paid too much attention to Russia’s external threats, emphasizing the reasonableness of its own claims. On February 21, 2022, Putin gave a talk on national television in which he claimed that NATO had “pushed military facilities and equipment to the Russian border, entirely without regard for our concerns, protests, and warnings.” Putin gave another television address on February 24. He said that if Russia remained indifferent as military and technological achievements were brought to the borders of Russia, the related military infrastructure would constitute “an absolutely unacceptable threat” for Russia. In Putin’s view, containment of NATO was, for Russia, “a matter of life and death,” “an existential matter,” and “a question of the continued existence of our state.” On the other hand, prior to taking military action, Putin himself felt that he clearly perceived the fact that the United States lacked the ability and resolve. He was insufficiently impressed by the threatening signals from the Biden administration. Hal Brands believes that Putin did not feel the weight of the deterrence signals from the United States because it was hard to assess how severe the penalties would be. 28 In fact, in the speech he gave on February 24, Putin claimed to have an “objective understanding” of the threat of Western sanctions and claimed that Russia’s “judgment was extremely objective and realistic.” However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was surprised by the extent of the U.S. sanctions on Russia’s central bank. He stated frankly that no one could have predicted which sanctions the West would impose. 29

对俄罗斯而言,普京在战略评估中对拜登政府发出的威胁感受不足,或者说,他低估了美国及其盟友进行制裁的范围和力度。一方面,普京过于关注俄罗斯的外部威胁,强调自我诉求的合理性。2022年2月21日,普京发表全国电视讲话,宣称北约“把军事设施和装备推到俄罗斯边境,完全无视我们的关切、抗议和警告”。2月24日,普京再次发表电视讲话。他说道,如果军事技术成果不断向俄罗斯边境逼近而俄无动于衷,那么相关军事设施将对俄罗斯造成“完全无法承受的威胁”。在普京看来,北约的遏制对俄罗斯而言是“生与死的问题”、“命脉攸关的问题”及“国可为国的问题”。另一方面,在采取军事行动之前,普京自我感觉已经洞悉美国缺乏能力和决心的现实,他对拜登政府的威胁信号感受不足。哈尔·布兰兹(HalBrands)就认为,由于很难评估惩罚有多严重,普京并没有感受到美国的威慑信号。③事实上,在2月24日的讲话中,普京宣称对西方威胁制裁“有客观认识”,俄罗斯的“研判非常客观和现实”。然而,俄罗斯外交部长谢尔盖·拉夫罗夫对美国制裁俄罗斯央行的程度感到惊讶,他坦言没人会预测西方将实施哪些制裁。

Although the deterrence strategy failed to deter Russia from taking military action, the United States’ deterrence actions against Russia have by no means ended. In theoretical research, deterrence is generally separated into two forms: deterrence by punishment and deterrence by denial. The former refers to the threat of punishing a rival by military or economic means. The latter aims to make a rival believe that they will not attain their objectives on the battlefield. The United States’ threat to use economic and financial sanctions against Russia is a typical example of deterrence by punishment. If deterrence by punishment fails, the deterring nation generally will choose to make good on its promise so as to guarantee its deterrence credibility. In this sense, the deterrence mechanism is still playing a role. Currently, U.S. deterrence against Russia has not stopped but instead is undergoing further escalation. It may be regarded as second-stage deterrence. At present, the United States is treating penalties against Russia as a deterrence tool for achieving broader objectives.

虽然吓阻俄罗斯采取军事行动的威慑战略失败了,但是美国对俄罗斯的威慑行为并未结束。在理论研究中,威慑一般分为惩罚性威慑(deterrence by punishment)和拒止性威慑(deterrence by denial)两种形态。前者指威胁通过军事或经济手段来惩罚对手,后者旨在使对手相信不会在战场上达到目标。就美国威胁使用经济和金融制裁俄罗斯而言,这是一种典型的惩罚性威慑。如果惩罚性威慑失败了,威慑国一般会选择兑现其承诺,以保证威慑的可信度。在这个意义上,威慑的机制仍然在发挥作用。当前美国对俄罗斯的威慑并没有停止,而是进一步升级,可以将其视为第二阶段的威慑。当前,美国正在将对俄罗斯的惩罚作为一种威慑工具,以实现更广泛的目的。

First, it is putting into effect the economic and financial sanctions that it had promised and continually escalating them in a timely way based on the situation. After Russia decided to take military action, the United States reinforced economic, financial, and technological embargoes and sanctions against Russia. The primary measures included: economic measures prohibiting new investment in Russia; expelling designated Russian banks from the SWIFT system; sanctions against key Russian state-owned enterprises; and financial sanctions against Russian government officials and their families. The United States also prohibited export of dual-use products to Russia, sanctioned over 1,000 Russian individuals and companies, and froze 630 billion U.S. dollars in foreign reserves of the Russian central bank. In addition, U.S. allies and partners correspondingly adopted a large number of sanction measures. The goal of the United States was to strike a huge blow against the Russian financial system and Russian foreign trade and thus make Russia pay a heavy economic price. According to forecasts by the U.S. government, Russian GDP will shrink 15% in 2022, erasing the economic gains of the past 15 years. 30

一是兑现承诺的经济和金融制裁,并不断根据态势适时升级。俄罗斯决定采取军事行动后,美国在经济、金融和科技上强化对俄罗斯的封锁和制裁,主要措施包括:禁止在俄罗斯进行新投资的经济措施;对选定的俄罗斯银行从SWIFT系统中移除;对俄罗斯关键国有企业进行制裁;对俄罗斯政府官员及其家人进行金融制裁。美国还禁止向俄罗斯出口军民两用物品,对1000多名俄罗斯个人和相关企业进行制裁,冻结俄罗斯中央银行6300亿美元的外汇储备。此外,美国的盟友和伙伴也相应采取了诸多制裁措施。美国的目的是对俄罗斯金融体系和对外贸易造成巨大冲击,让俄罗斯付出沉重的经济代价。根据美国政府的预测,俄罗斯2022年的国内生产总值将萎缩15%,抵消了过去15年的经济收益。

Second, militarily, it is comprehensively aiding Ukraine and thus increasing the cost of the war to Russia. Since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the United States has provided large amounts of security aid to Ukraine. On April 7, 2022, Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that Western nations had already provided Ukraine with roughly 60,000 anti-tank weapons and 25,000 anti-aircraft weapons. 31 Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles are typical examples of such weapons. On April 13, the U.S. Department of Defense convened a meeting with the eight largest weapons manufacturers in preparation for large-scale export of weapons and equipment to Ukraine. According to statistics, the United States had provided Ukraine with more than 5,500 Javelin anti-tank missiles and more than 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles as of April 22. 32 Some analysis indicates that the Javelin anti-tank missiles and the Stinger anti-aircraft missiles already sent to Ukraine by the United States probably account for one-third and one-fourth, respectively, of total U.S. stockpiles. 33 The Biden administration’s policy indicates that the United States will further increase its military aid to Ukraine. Biden has proposed a 33-billion-dollar additional aid package for Ukraine so as to provide Ukraine with large-scale military assistance. Congress increased the figure to 39.8 billion U.S. dollars, with the House approving it on May 11. In addition, the United States has provided Ukraine with a large amount of intelligence concerning Russian military deployments and movements, giving enormous support to Ukrainian military operations. On April 13, Ukraine struck the guided missile cruiser Moskva, which was the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet, causing it to sink. U.S. government officials acknowledge that the U.S. provided intelligence to Ukraine which helped Ukraine to sink the Russian warship. 34 The United States has also provided Ukraine with intelligence about high-ranking generals in the Russian army so that Ukraine can target and kill and injure Russian generals. The U.S. decision to provide Ukraine with large-scale military aid has become a key factor shaping the future direction of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

二是军事上全面援助乌克兰,增加俄罗斯的战争成本。俄乌冲突爆发以来,美国向乌克兰提供了大量的安全援助。2022年4月7日,美国参联会主席马克·米利表示,西方国家已经向乌克兰提供了约6万件反坦克武器和2.5万件防空武器。其中,以“标枪”反坦克导弹和“毒刺”防控导弹最具有代表性。4月13日,美国国防部召集美国8家最大的军火公司召开会议,准备大规模向乌克兰输出武器装备。据统计,截至4月22日,美国已经向乌克兰提供了超过5500枚“标枪”反坦克导弹和超过1400枚“毒刺”防空导弹。有分析认为,美国已经向乌克兰输送的“标枪”反坦克导弹和“毒刺”防控导弹大概占到美国总库存的1/3和1/4。从拜登政府的政策来看,美国会进一步加大对乌克兰的军事援助。拜登提出了330亿美元的一揽子额外援助计划,对乌克兰进行大规模军事援助。国会进一步将数额提升到398亿美元,众议院已于5月11日投票通过。此外,美国向乌克兰提供了大量俄罗斯军队有关军事部署和作战动向的情报,极大地支持了乌克兰的军事行动。4月13日,俄罗斯黑海舰队旗舰“莫斯科号”导弹巡洋舰被乌克兰击沉。美国政府官员承认,美国向乌克兰提供了情报,帮助乌克兰击沉了俄罗斯军舰。美国还向乌克兰提供有关俄罗斯军队高级将领的情报,以方便乌克兰精准杀伤俄罗斯的将领。美国决定对乌克兰进行大规模军事援助,正成为塑造俄乌冲突未来走向的关键因素。

In a wider sense, the United States is imposing harsh military and economic punishments on Russia and is further reinforcing its deterrence measures. Its intentions in doing so are twofold. On the one hand, it is causing ample harm to Russia through economic and military bloodletting. With this it is bruising Russia on the levels of national strength and strategic psychology so as to create a deterrent effect on Russia far into the future. After its attack suffered a setback at the end of March 2022, Russia adjusted its military strategy. It retreated from Kiev and the surrounding suburbs and shifted its strategic center of gravity to eastern and southern Ukraine. The United States and its allies also quietly changed their pre-existing strategy. They comprehensively supported Ukraine militarily and switched their strategic goal to making Russia bleed, weakening Russia as much as possible. The United States increased its military aid to Ukraine with the objective of magnifying the harm to Russia. Specifically, by strangling Russia economically and financially, they could make Russia experience a punishing lethal force and prevent it from taking similar military action in other regions. At the same time, it sought to wear down Russia militarily through the Ukraine-Russia conflict so as to reduce Russian military strength and prevent it from employing war again as a means to change the situation in Ukraine. After visiting Kiev on April 25 and meeting with Zelensky, Austin pointed out that the United States hoped “to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.” 35 He thus plainly revealed the main intention of the Biden administration. However, the U.S. shift in the Russia-Ukraine conflict from supporting Ukraine’s defensive efforts to wearing down and weakening Russia has caused a further deterioration in Russian-U.S. relations. It has added greatly to the uncertainty of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and increased the risk that Russia would threaten to use, or would use, nuclear weapons.

在更广泛的意义上,美国在经济和军事上严厉惩罚俄罗斯,进一步强化威慑措施,主要有两个意图。一方面,通过经济和军事上的放血来充分杀伤俄罗斯,在国家实力和战略心理两个层面挫伤俄罗斯,以在未来很长时间内对俄罗斯形成威慑效用。2022年3月底以来,俄罗斯在进攻遭受挫折后调整了军事战略,从基辅及其郊区撤军,将战略重心转向乌克兰东部和南部。美国及其盟友也悄然间改变了既有战略,在军事上全面支援乌克兰,将战略目标转变为给俄罗斯放血,最大程度上削弱俄罗斯。美国增加了对乌克兰的军事援助,目的是加大对俄罗斯的杀伤。具体而言,在经济和金融上绞杀俄罗斯,可以使俄罗斯感受到惩罚的杀伤力,避免其在其他地区采取类似军事行动。与此同时,在军事上通过俄乌冲突拖垮俄罗斯,弱化俄罗斯实力,阻止其再次通过战争方式改变乌克兰现状。4月25日,奥斯汀访问基辅并会见泽连斯基后指出,美国希望看到“俄罗斯被削弱到不能做诸如入侵乌克兰这样的事情的地步”,露骨地展示了拜登政府的主要意图。然而,美国在俄乌冲突中的立场从支援乌克兰自卫转变为消耗、削弱俄罗斯,进一步恶化了俄美关系,极大地增加了俄乌冲突的不确定性,也增加了俄罗斯威胁使用或使用核武器的风险。

On the other hand, it has produced a powerful deterrent effect against China with regard to the Taiwan issue. The United States had another important intention concerning the Ukraine issue. Namely, by letting the Chinese leadership and people observe how Russia was being sanctioned by the United States and its allies and partners, and by showing the high cost that Russia was bearing, it sought to give shape to a psychological expectation that when China reunifies with Taiwan it must bear a high cost and to ultimately change the psychology and strategic arrangements of the Chinese leadership and people. For U.S. decision-makers, the greater the mess that Russian military operations become, the more severe its economic hemorrhaging, and the more its overall national power declines, the more striking the deterrent effect will be against China. Some analysts are of the opinion that the Russia-Ukraine conflict will cause China to become more cautious over the Taiwan issue. 36 In fact, all the parties involved with the Taiwan issue are studying the Russia-Ukraine conflict and trying to gain experience and lessons from it. For Western nations, the lessons and experience are clear, namely, that Taiwan must prepare for war—that it must both improve its defensive capabilities and strengthen its will to fight. This would be the only way to convince China that it cannot win on the battlefield or that it cannot bear the cost of reunification.

另一方面,在台湾问题上对中国形成强大威慑效用。在乌克兰问题上,美国还有一个重要意图,即通过让中国领导人和民众观摩俄罗斯如何被美国及盟友和伙伴制裁,通过展示俄罗斯承担的高昂成本来塑造中国统一台湾时必须承担高昂成本的心理预期,最终改变中国领导人和民众的心理认知和战略安排。对于美国的决策者而言,俄罗斯军队作战越狼狈、经济失血越严重以及综合国力越衰落,对中国的威慑效果就越显著。有分析者就认为,俄乌冲突会促使中国在台湾问题上更加谨慎。事实上,台湾问题的相关各方都在研究俄乌冲突,试图从中获得经验和教训。对西方国家而言,教训和经验是明确的,即台湾必须为战争做好准备,既要提升防卫能力,又要增强战斗意志。唯有如此,才能让中国相信无法在战场上获胜或无法承担统一的成本。

Deterrence is an important tool in U.S. national security strategy. However, the role that deterrence plays forever faces many theoretical and practical challenges—a point well demonstrated during the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The success of the U.S. deterrence strategy requires not only that the United States itself has powerful forces and strong resolve but that it can make the other side accurately feel the threat and have an accurate calculation of the costs and benefits. But the real world is complicated, and it is difficult to have both conditions present at once. Modern warfare and conflict often come coupled with information warfare, public opinion warfare, and psychological warfare, which undoubtedly exacerbates the difficulty of successful deterrence. It must be recognized that, although the U.S. failed in deterring Russia from adopting military action against Ukraine, the economic sanctions against Russia used by the U.S. and its allies and their military aid for Ukraine created a broader-scope deterrence effect for Russia and other countries. For China, the Russia-Ukraine conflict acts as a mirror—a model for us to assess how the United States’ deterrence strategy is devised. China needs not only to study in depth how the United States deters and how it punishes Russia, but also to carefully analyze how Russia perceives the United States’ threats, and to derive experience and lessons from therein. This is the only way that we can clearly see the real essence of this major international event, find new opportunities from within crises, and open a new game from within a changing game.

威慑是美国国家安全战略中的重要工具。然而,威慑发挥作用始终面临着诸多理论上和现实上的挑战,这一点在俄乌冲突中得到了很好的体现。美国威慑战略的成功不仅需要自身拥有强大的力量和坚定的决心,还需要让对方准确感受到了威胁,并且对成本和收益有一个准确的计算。然而,现实世界非常复杂,这两方面条件很难同时具备。现代战争和冲突往往伴随着信息战、舆论战和心理战,这无疑加剧了威慑成功的难度。必须看到,虽然美国在吓阻俄罗斯对乌克兰采取军事行动上失败了,但是美国及其盟友对俄罗斯的经济制裁和对乌克兰的军事援助对俄罗斯及其他国家形成了更大范围的威慑效用。于中国而言,俄乌冲突是一面镜子,是我们考察美国威慑战略如何运筹的样板。中国不仅要深入研究美国如何威慑、如何惩罚俄罗斯,还要认真分析俄罗斯如何感知美国的威胁,从中获取经验和教训。唯有如此,才能看清国际重大事件的本质,才能在危机中育新机,于变局中开新局。

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左希迎 (Zuo Xiying) (2022). "The U.S. Deterrence Strategy and the Russia-Ukraine Conflict [美国威慑战略与俄乌冲突]". Interpret: China, Original work published May 20, 2022, https://interpret.csis.org/translations/the-u-s-deterrence-strategy-and-the-russia-ukraine-conflict/

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