Thursday, August 14, 2008

More on Georgia

Jib starts the ball rolling, quoting Austin Bay:

Moving Georgia’s Iraq force home in US air transports was a reminder of US strategic reach. That was a military option and it has been employed. ...Using USAF cargo planes to bring humanitarian supplies is standard policy – but a C-17 is a US military plane. That is a message, a limited, careful, but calculated message, and constitutes a low-risk option ...The presence of US military training forces in Georgia is a message — one Russia chose to ignore. Beefing up the training and support mission is a military option...

Jib goes on to comment:

Georgia cannot be a member of NATO without significant U.S. presence. Why? Because it is impossible to defend without trip wires that, if tripped, Russia would know would trigger a major conflict. Prior to this event, the U.S. could not have begun to place these trip wires because it would have been castigated for its bellicosity and passive aggression towards Russia.

True. If Russia were to start training Mexican military and 'encourage' Mexico to re-take Aztlan (now known as Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California), the US might not be happy. Those are "trip-wire" kinds of things.

Jib and a number of others seem to think that making Georgia a part of NATO is some sort of Good Thing. After all, the people of Georgia have elections and their current leader speaks and writes English, and his letters are published in the Wall Street Journal.

But if Georgia becomes part of NATO, of course, then NATO (including the US) is bound to defend Georgia against any military attack. We're all-for-one and one-for-all in the Democracy Is Best gang, particularly if the WSJ prints our letters.

Other folks, including this writer, don't agree that US military forces should be used that way. We have this "compelling national interests" thing that keeps bothering us--and no one, especially BillyBoy Kristol, the Happy Warrior of The National Review, has told us what the "compelling national interests" of the US happen to be in Georgia.

Forget the pipeline. It's useful for Europe, and claims that Russia will simply cut off the gas and oil are interesting, but not persuasive. There are work-arounds, albeit messy and expensive. And I repeat: that's Europe's problem. Most of our oil comes from Canada and Mexico, with some coming from the Middle East.

What GWB has decided to do is just fine: provide humanitarian supplies, maintain the friendship with Georgia, and make it clear to The Bear that we will not tolerate this sort of stuff.

What's a compelling National Interest to Europe is not necessarily a Compelling National Interest to the USA.

Keep that straight.

8 comments:

David said...

I don't understand your position on this. You say there is no compelling interest and yet you say you are fine with telling Russia "we will not tolerate this sort of stuff".

What purpose would it server to tell Russia anything if we will not back it up. Jimmy Carter was a master at that.

Georgia is in our interest now as Germany was in the cold war. It is a line of defense that we can continually push north and east until beligerent former nuclear powers are no longer a threat to stability.

Dad29 said...

That's the dumbest-ass position I've ever seen on the matter.

Evidently you think the US Armed Forces have about 200 million men under arms and the logistics necessary to support that.

Regardless of your phantasmic imagination, there IS NO COMPELLING NATIONAL INTEREST of the USA in Georgia.

So providing humanitian aid and letting Putin know he's a thug is just fine.

Hire your own private army if you wish to "strangle" Russia--and good luck by the way.

proletariat said...

I have enjoyed your posts on this topic. I think you hit it on the head about NATO.

Your Mexico example is interesting too. The whole battle of the Alamo is an eerily similar situation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Alamo

My fear is both of these goons will have us in endless global wars in defense of "democracy".

Anonymous said...

The art of leadership is prioritizing allocation of resources. As Dad states, we cannot be in all places at once. I have to believe that it has escaped nobody's attention that our military is already stretched dreadfully thin.

That is why gentlemen like Belling, possessed of only the military experience gleaned from television and talking points, call easily to add Russia and Iran to our military endeavours.

The error of such a program was once proven by Rome, and more recently demonstrated by Adolph Schickelgrubber, whom I believe changed his last name to Hitler.

In all matters military we must chose the most proximate danger, address and defeat it, and move on.

If Russia is this, then we must decide which of the other missions to discontinue.

-Soft Words and Broad Swords -

David said...

What the hell is it with the insults?

I never said we need to deploy combat brigades in defence of Georgia. I merely stated the facts as they currently exist.

You may not have noticed but our ability to decimate the threats from Russia have worked pretty darn well so far. We rolled back the iron curtain by constantly picking at the edges. That is how long term strategic defence posturing is supposed to work.

Perhaps Reagan should have tried your pussy approach. Who knows, it might have worked.

Dad29 said...

Here's the solitary "fact" you posted (and it's not a "Fact," it is an opinion):

Georgia is in our interest now as Germany was in the cold war.

OK, then.

Tell us all WHY you hold that opinion.

As to 'encircling' or whatever, the Russkis--yah. They'll sit still for that, just like WE would if the Russkis decided to make Canada and Mexico parts of the Warsaw Pact.

David said...

You are talking about a country that for MONTHS has been moving T90 tanks in total secrecy to the border with Georgia. You are talking about a country that has told the Ukraine to "pay close attention" to Georgia. They have told Poland that they wmay use nukes on them. They have done absolutly everything Hitler did and yet you stand by, waving your little pieces of opionion as if this does not matter to you at all. We did not bleed and fight for 40 years to push them back just to let them do it again.

I could not care less what the russions will stand for. If a country that was once under Russias thumb tries for freedom and gets slammed down it is our moral obligation not just to them, but to every cold war soldier, to stand by them.

At times like these we need real men to stand up to international bullies. Apparently you need not apply.

Dad29 said...

Oooohhhhh...

A BIG boy!! I bet your Mom is proud of you b/c YOU can tell who the "real men" are.

Still waiting for your case that Georgia is a compelling national interest area for the US.

But since you can't make that case, you go to ad-hominem.

I think we're done here, boy.