Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Trip Wires

From 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. WHo knows? It may have given Moscow some pause. We’ve already seen at least one quasi-military option 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 that, well, the order has been given and the transports are flying. 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.

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. Russia has now given us the cover for setting up those trip wires that will allow for Georgia's admission to NATO. I know that a lot of people are comparing this to the old USSR, but make no mistake, the USSR would have dealt Georgia a quick and fatal blow that would have prevented it from falling within the West's sphere of influence.

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