The White House has established a contingency planning team on a variety of scenarios during the war in Ukraine, including Russia’s potential use of chemical or biological weapons, a senior official said. administration.
A so-called Tiger Team is in place to prepare the White House’s response for the next three months of the Russian invasion, while a strategy group is in place to carry out a longer-term review of ” major geopolitical changes that occur as a result”. of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the official said.
The best case scenario the teams are working on is Russia using chemical or biological weapons. The strategy group works to monitor and mitigate risk, while considering how to advance and defend US interests.
“We are working to continue to ensure that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a strategic failure,” the official said.
Other scenarios foreseen by the team are the targeting of US security convoys, disruptions to global food supply chains and the continued response to the growing refugee crisis.
The National Security Council (NSC) sent a memo to the agencies on February 28 to establish the two processes, which included pursuing Team Tiger and creating the strategy group to work alongside it.
The president, before leaving for Brussels on Wednesday, said Russia’s possible use of chemical weapons was a “real threat”. He also said such an attack would come with a “high price”.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday there are fears that Russia may use chemical weapons because of Kremlin “rhetoric” and because Russia is trying to create a pretext accusing the Ukraine and NATO allies to prepare to use chemical weapons.
“Any use of chemical weapons will totally change the nature of the conflict, it will be a latent violation of international law and it will have far-reaching and of course extremely dangerous consequences,” he said.