IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

White House leading tabletop exercises in preparation for possible Russian invasion

The administration is building a playbook of responses for the first two weeks after an invasion.
President Biden Meets With His Council Of Advisors On Science And Technology
President Biden meets with members of his Council of Advisors on Science and Technology at The White House on Jan. 20, 2022.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration has put together a diverse group of experts, dubbed a "Tiger Team," that has been gaming out how the U.S. would respond to a variety of scenarios in the Russia-Ukraine standoff, including a Russian invasion of the country.

The team has held a pair of tabletop exercises, each of which lasted several hours, including one with Cabinet officials, a senior administration official said. The exercises involved building a playbook of responses for the first two weeks after an invasion.

The latest session occurred "very recently," the official said. The Washington Post first reported the exercises.

According to the Post, the Tiger Team was formed in November, when President Joe Biden's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, asked the director of strategic planning at the National Security Council, Alex Bick, to put together a strategy. The report said that Bick has included officials from the departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security, Energy and Treasury, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The news comes as Western nations brace for a possible invasion of Ukraine by Russia's military, which has massed more than 130,000 troops along the border with Ukraine. Sullivan warned late last week there was a "distinct possibility" of an invasion before the Olympics end on Friday. He said Sunday it could take place "any day now."

Meanwhile, Russia said Tuesday that some of its troops that were part of the buildup near Ukraine were returning to their bases, although Kyiv said it was too early to tell whether this signaled any de-escalation.