Saturday, August 09, 2008

Russia Continues Air Blitz Over Georgia

The war between Russia and Georgia continues to escalate, as Russia continues to launch air raids on Georgia's territory and civilian even after Georgia announced a cease fire and pulled its forces back.

This war is not about South Ossetia. It's about Russia sending a message to the US and to it's former empire that the Bear is back.

Georgia fell into an old and classic trap. Here's how it went: first the Russians used the South Ossetians to mount attacks on Georgian territory Then , the Bear waited for a response to the bait. And finally, once the bait was taken, they responded with overwhelming military force.

And Russia has an additional sinister stake here. The biggest threat Russia poses to Europe is the Kremlin's monopoly on the energy export routes to the West from the old parts of its former Soviet empire. The one part the Russians don't control is the oil and gas pipeline that leads from energy-rich Azerbaijan to Turkey, across Georgia...and it's notable that the Russians bombed it as well as the Georgian port of Poti, neither of which is anywhere near South Ossetia.

It's obvious that the Russians planned this well in advance, ever since Georgia, a US ally, made an attempt to be part of NATO. The idea that Georgia sought a war with Russia is idiocy.

The very fact of the Russians quick response tels me that this was something they planned way in advance. The Russians don't do quick response well, and to send tank brigades with working crews and the logistic support needed to prevail on those mountain roads would normally have taken the Russians a lot longer...if they were truly taken by surprise by Georgian 'aggression.'

What the Russians will likely try to do is to is to try to cut Georgia in half and sever its links with the West driving to the south to link up with the other Russian clients in Abkhazia, who have already mounted an attack on Georgia, backed by Russian `peacekeepers' in the territory.

What we have here is an imperialist power launching an aggressive war on a smaller, weaker neighbor in an attempt to purloin and control its energy resources and bring them under its heel. And so far, not much has been done about it. The Europeans have been absolutely craven as usual, even though Russian control of the energy routes into Europe would give Putin the power to blackmail them at will.

And I also notice a conspicuous absence of the usual war protestors in Europe an America and their demonstrations when Russia is involved...which should tell you something about these people and their basic motivations.

The US has been a little better, although our efforts have been confined to talks. US Deputy National Security Adviser James Jeffrey said that if the Russian escalation continued, it would have a "significant" long-term impact on relations between the Moscow and Washington, while NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said Russia had violated Georgia's territorial integrity in South Ossetia and condemned the "disproportionate use of force". Obviously, whatever's been said to the Russians so far has been fairly mild. Putin could apparently care less, and the carnage goes on.

Will the US and NATO let Georgia fall by the wayside? Will the West and especially the US let a democratic nation and a loyal ally be crushed under the Kremlin's tanks?
If we do, the price will be a lot higher than it appears.


Anonymous said...

"Will the US and NATO let Georgia fall by the wayside?" There is very little the US can do about this from a military perspective. With its military stretched to thin and almost to the breaking point the chances of prevailing in a military conflict with Russia are virtually nill. Even before the US undertook military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan defeating the Russian militayr would have taken a miracle. Now it would take a divine miracle on the level of parting the red sea. It can happen. Miracles of this type have happened and will happen again. For the US and free world to expect to recieve such a miracle would likely require us to return the Judeo-Christian values that made us great.

"Will the Weat and especially the US allow a democratic nation and a loyal ally be crushed under the kremlin's tank?" "Allow" implies that the IS can actually prevent it. Right now the chances of the US prevailing in amilitary conflict with Russia are infintesimally small. Even if we could, the American people would not support it nor would the current Congress allow it. If Russia is to be defeated, we will need to ousmart them. At this time, we are unable to over power them. It has been done beofre. Ronald Reagan and his advisors outsmarted the Russians and were able to defeat them. They could not have over powered them. The problem was Reagan's successor George H.W. Bush did not finisht the job.

"If we do, the price will be higher than it appears." I agree. When I first learned that Russia had invaded Georgia, my first thought was that this is the end of NATO. Georgia and others know that Russia wants it empire back. They wanted to join NATO to gain some measure of defense against Russia. In response the US and NATO invited them in and they put up the military equivlant of barbed wire fence. Barbed wire fences can be easily penetrated by a determined person, however, they will suffer a few cuts. The tinking among US and Western leaders was that Russia did not want to suffer the military equivelent of a few cuts. They incorrectly assumed that Russians think the way Americans and Western Europeans do. They are not as squeamish about a few dead soldiers as Aemricans and Western Euopeans are.

The problem is these NATO forces are inadquate to withstand a coordianted Russian attack nor do they have the offensive capabilty to threaten Russia in ameaningful way.

Also, the US will not be defending these countries in the event of an attack. As such, Georgia and others will come to the conclusion that NATO is utterly useless. Since the US is the main contributor to NATO and ot will have utterly failed here, I would expect other NAYO members to reach the same conclusion. That is that NATO is useless. I would expect NATO to be disbanded. When it happens, the US and the free world lose a valuable buffer against Russia and its allies.

Speaking othe anti-American left and their allies in the main stream news media that is mentioned in this post. They complain unceasingly about the US military presence in former Soviet colonies, however, the ignore the far more robust military presence of Russian allies like Venezuela and others in South and Central Aemrica. These forces pose a significant offensive threat to the US and its interests. The NATO forces are not robust enough to acutally threaten Russia.

In order to be able to directly confront Russis the US and the free world will have to significantly increase their military capabilities. A possbile diplomatic solution to this might be for the US to withdraw from former Soviet territories and in return the Russians would withdraw their support from countries like Venezuela. This might be workable, however, enforcement would be a big problem. The media scrutiny on the US is always intense and very often hostile. As such, the US will have no choice but to honor its agreements even if it might not want to. The Russians don't face this kind of scrutiny. If Russia fails to honor the agreemtt, this would be disasterous. In order to agree to any thing, there would need to be some mechanism of enforcement.

The bottom line is the US and the free world need to substantially increase their military capabilities. The sooner we start the better.

Anonymous said...

Something else I neglected to mention in my post. We need to fundamentally change how we think about oil. Typically oil is thought as something controlled by evil business men who financially rape the populace. From this we get the very popular expression, "no blood for oil."

Oil needs to be thought as something that is vital to the operation of a modern or even a semi modern economy. As such, prudent government officials should do their part to ensure that we have access to a stable supply of this precious comodity, even if this means we have to invade someone. In other words, the slogan "no blood for oil" should be abandoned. Sometimes blood may have to shed for oil. That is, if we want to survive.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the multiple posts here. Russia does have a fundamental weakness. The Russian leadership and the Russian military are incredibly arrogant. This will eventually cause them to make mistakes. If we are alert, we may be able to capitalize when they do.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Poster,
If Putin is allowed to suborn Georgia in this fashion, it will have two results:

One: If will give the Russians control of th eenergy routesd into Europe and allow them to blackmail Europe at will.

Two: It will send a message, especially to the former denizens of the Soviet Empire that an aliance with the US and the West isn't worth diddly squat.

Anonymous said...

......i thought of something after ff made his initial posting of the invasion last week.
you know what georgia should do?
file a lawsuit.
that's right, send the lawyers to the border or to moscow to file a lawsuit against putin.
as ff always talks about being all lawyered up, this would, no doubt, have an immediate impact as the russian bear would cave-in to international pressure.
that's right.
send all lawyers to the georgia/russo border.
geez, do i have to think of everything?

Anonymous said...

i wonder what fred thompson would say?

Anonymous said...

Why not do what the Americans did in 1973 when another country was defending itself?

Freedom Fighter said...

Simple, Anonymous.

Nixon had a pair...Bush doesn't.