How to Counter Russia’s Gray Zone Tactics

Key Findings from the Rand Report on Competing in the Gray Zone

Download the entire report here

The research in this report and elsewhere suggests that the West is winning this competition, but does not recognize it.

  • “Everyday” gray zone actions must be differentiated from more aggressive and focused gray zone actions.
  • Based on the war games conducted to support this project, the authors observed that NATO and the EU are unlikely to be able to compel Russia to stop using nonviolent Russian gray zone tactics, but they might be able to deter high-order aggression.
  • Vulnerability to Russian gray zone tactics varies significantly across Europe. Russia’s “near abroad” and the Balkans are particularly susceptible, while the Baltics and Western and Central Europe are not.
  • Civil organizations, rather than military ones, might be best positioned to counter Russian gray zone tactics.