A Different Take on Georgia

Joshua Foust and his commenters at Registan have a rather different, cautionary view of things in the Caucasus. I offer it at this point for perusal. The linked post is from early on, like Rob Farley’s. Opinions at the site have evolved a bit since.

Russia: “We’re back”

It appears Russian forbearance is sorely lacking in Georgia:

Russian troops briefly seized a Georgian military base and took up positions close to the Georgian city of Gori on Monday, raising Georgian fears of a full-scale invasion or an attempt to oust the country’s pro-Western president, Mikheil Saakashvili.

Like I said previously, there’s really nothing to stop them if they don’t want to be stopped. With our army fully committed in Iraq and perhaps incapable of sustained high-intensity operations even if it weren’t, the only military option I can see we’d have is maybe forward-deploying what F-22s we have to Turkey. But the Russians would call that bluff. They know we have no interest in getting into a shooting war with them.

Galrahn has more, including a comment on “communications disruption” that is not fully explained; it’s not clear whether he means conventional EW, Internet attacks or both. He also notes that Russian casualties are likely high, not that Putin cares.

All in all, it’s shaping up as a big short-term loss for the U.S. As Rob Farley said early in the game:

Russia gets to demonstrate her power, solve two of the Frozen Conflicts (the Georgians are never getting Abkhazia back if Russia wins here), and humiliate the United States, all at the same time. They hit the trifecta if they win this war.

Question now is what we can make of it on the rebound vis-a-vis the EU and Iran.