29 March 2022

Scenario Work on the War in Ukraine

Scenario Work on the War in Ukraine
©Max Kukurudziak via Unsplash

Since the beginning of the year, the Bureau für Zeitgeschehen (BfZ) is working closely with a network of experts from the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) to develop a range of potential scenario pathways regarding the dynamic and highly complex situation in Ukraine. What started as a proactive exercise to sketch escalation and de-escalation scenarios and to think in plausible what-if worlds, turned out to be more relevant than ever when the Kremlin launched an unprovoked attack on its neighbor in late February.

Due to the latest developments, we are currently in the process of inducing deeper interaction between experts and policy planners to discuss different scenarios and design possible policy responses in real time with a consortium of GMF resident and visiting fellows from around the world. The aim of this project is to enable decision-makers in Western capitals to surf the thin line between exerting pressure on Putin and his cronies while preventing the world from slipping into an uncontrollable escalation. In this regard, questions and answers for a post-war order are considered, too.

To inform and shape public narratives, participants will also publish articles analyzing the policy implications of the different scenarios. For instance, Michael Kimmage has dwelled on this in several Foreign Affairs articles with Liana Fix: