"The United States will only tacitly engage with Russia. Washington will be more compelled to sustain economic pressure against Russia while trying to reinforce US security guarantees to allies in Russia's near abroad," Stratfor noted in its forecast for the fourth quarter of 2015.
"NATO still has room to increase training missions in Ukraine under the auspice of rebuilding the Ukrainian military while continuing its permanent rotation of forces in Central Europe. Polish rhetoric against Russia and appeals for Western security commitments will be on the rise during Poland's election season," Stratfor stated.
Russia's military engagement in Syria will remain small-scale. Moscow is capable of achieving its objectives in the region with the forces already deployed to the war-torn country.
"Russia will be well aware of the threat of mission creep and is not under any illusion that it can pacify Syria through its military might, diplomacy or any combination of the two. By establishing a large forward operating base on the Syrian coast, Russia will be able to commit military resources as needed to protect an Alawite statelet and weaken groups opposed to the al-Assad government while emphasizing its diplomatic efforts to advance a peace proposal," the think-tank observed.