Today's Reading Assignment
Actually appeared in the New York Post a couple of days ago...Ralph Peters has a terrific column on Russian aggression in Georgia, and the timid reaction of the west. His opening paragraphs provide an excellent summation of the crisis:
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.
The response of our own government has been pathetic - and our media's uncritical acceptance of Moscow's version of events is infuriating.
And, he expertly debunks the myth that Russia's military operation was a "limited" response to Georgian actions:
Let's be clear: For all that US commentators and diplomats are still chattering about Russia's "response" to Georgia's actions, the Kremlin spent months planning and preparing this operation. 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.
As I pointed out Saturday, even to get one armored brigade over the Caucasus Mountains required extensive preparations. Since then, Russia has sent in the equivalent of almost two divisions - not only in South Ossetia, the scene of the original fighting, but also in separatist Abkhazia on the Black Sea coast.
The Russians also managed to arrange the instant appearance of a squadron of warships to blockade Georgia. And they launched hundreds of air strikes against preplanned targets.
Every one of these things required careful preparations. In the words of one US officer, "Just to line up the airlift sorties would've taken weeks."
Colonel Peters also raises the same question that many of us are asking: why won't the U.S. and its European allies stand up for Georgia--a fledgling democracy that aspires to NATO membership?
Sadly, most of us know the answer to that one. It lies in Europe's long-standing inability to deal with its security problems, and a U.S. administration that is (apparently) too fatigued to take on Vladimir Putin.