What will happen inside Russia if the Ukraine war continues to go poorly for Moscow? The possibilities range from revolution and insurgency to civil war and dissolution of the Russian Federation. And the odds of each increase by the day.
The US needs to be ready for such contingencies. Washington and its allies must prepare to contain any unrest within Russia and work with partners to respond to calls for self-determination—even independence—in addition to restoring the territorial integrity of countries now partly occupied by Russia. Further afield, the US should strengthen the Western orientation of regions, such as Central Asia, where Russian influence is likewise waning. If Moscow loses its grip altogether, the White House must lead an international effort to monitor Russia’s nuclear and other mass-casualty weapons.