Ralph Peters says, Meet the New Russia, Same as the old Soviet Union.
IT'S impossible to overstate the importance of what's un folding as we watch. Russia's invasion of Georgia - a calculated, unprovoked aggression - is a crisis that may have more important strategic implications than Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
We're seeing the emergence of a rogue military power with a nuclear arsenal. [SNIP]
This is the "new" Russia announcing - in blood - that it won't tolerate freedom and self-determination along its borders. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is putting it bluntly: Today, Georgia, tomorrow Ukraine (and the Baltic states had better pay attention).
Georgia's affiliation with the European Union, its status as a would-be NATO member, its working democracy - none of it deterred Putin.Peters goes on to (correctly) lambaste the initial reactions of Barack Obama and George W. Bush. On John McCain's reaction seemed commensurate to the situation.
Nor does Putin's ambition stop with the former Soviet territories. His air force has been trying (unsuccessfully) to hit the new gas pipeline running from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean. The Kremlin is telling Europe: We not only have the power to turn off Siberian gas, we can turn off every tap in the region, any time we choose.
Peters also wonders why the West seems caught off-guard by Russia's actions.
Any soldier above the grade of private can tell you that there's absolutely no way Moscow could've launched this huge ground, air and sea offensive in an instantaneous "response" to alleged Georgian actions. [SNIP]Peters turns his rant-guns to the MSM and then points to the alleged fecklessness of the Bush Administration:
[The Russians] managed to arrange the instant appearance of a squadron of warships to blockade Georgia. And they launched hundreds of air strikes against preplanned targets. [SNIP]
Make no mistake: Moscow intends to dismember Georgia.
Just as Moscow has reverted to its old habit of sending in tanks to snuff out freedom, Washington has defaulted to form by abandoning Georgia to the invasion - after encouraging Georgia to stand up to the Kremlin.
Reminds me of 1956, when we encouraged the Hungarians to defy Moscow - then abandoned them. And of 1991, when we prodded Iraq's Shia to rise up against Saddam - then abandoned them. We've called Georgia a "friend and ally." Well, honorable men and states stand by their friends and allies. We haven't.I think Ralph Peters is an intelligent man who has knowledge far and away above my level, along with the ability to apply that knowledge to reality. So I'm wondering how he thinks that the US could act effectively to defend Georgia while we're in Iraq and Afghanistan. Wouldn't one of these endeavors ultimately get the short end? Wouldn't some entity be abandoned?
As I've said in a few places, there are no good choices for the US in this matter--and that's sometimes the way it is.
UPDATE: Responses proposed:
America must hit where it hurts: Russia’s international prestige, an obsession of Mr. Putin’s. To begin with, we must do everything possible to see Russia’s membership in the Group of 8 industrialized nations be suspended (something the Republican presidential hopeful John McCain called for even before this crisis).Would being booted from the G8 really hurt Russia? And if both Ukraine and Georgia are voted into NATO, what happens if Russia ignores this, remains in Georgia and moves on to Ukraine? Will the EU members of NATO change its complacency spots? More than likely they will expect the US to act, then criticize us while our troops are dying and theirs are chillin' in the rear echelon. (Disclaimer: I'm an REMF myself.)
Once the fighting is over, America must step up its campaign for NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine. Should European countries reject the idea, America could designate them “major non-NATO allies,” along the lines of Israel and Pakistan. This would involve more American military trainers in Georgia, intelligence-sharing, joint exercises and other steps, if not a full pledge by Washington to defend the country in case of attack.
To paraphrase Darkstar: All. Bad. Choices.
(Thanks to Hot Air)