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Reply #19: No clubbing required! [View All]

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The Traveler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-16-08 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
19. No clubbing required!
Edited on Sat Aug-16-08 10:14 PM by The Traveler
The injection of the historical references into this discussion is quite beneficial. The point of my thrust, not well made, is that much could have been done diplomatically to relieve pressures induced by the movement of former Warsaw Pact countries into NATO.

Again, I ask you to consider these facts from the viewpoint of a military planner in the Russian Federation.

1) In the late 1980s, America forms relations with Iraq and provides advice and lethal material.

2) In the early 1990s, America unwinds its "Air/Land Battle" doctrine and hardware upon that same nation. (BTW I am quite proud of the small role I played in the development of said doctrine and hardware.)

3) In 2003, America concots a rationale for invading that same country. Subsequently that same rationale is demonstrated to be hollow and false, and it is shown semi-convincingly that the world and American people were deliberately deceived. It does appear that it was largely about oil and strategic positioning.

4) From this, we can conclude America has no problem zapping a former partner if circumstances are deemed advantageous for doing so.

5) Simultaneously, military and political alliances are formed on my border. High tech weaponry including missile defense and precision munitions (shown to be effective in item 2 above) are being moved in.

Given the volatility of American intentions, a response to oppose these trends would appear to be necessary. Or, at least, if I were a military planner for Russia, that would be my feeling. The action in Georgia provides a means to check tactical readiness, wring out some kinks, probe the adversary (the US, really) and observe reactions and resolve.

Now, I am not particularly fond of Putin's regime. Frankly, I think they have been harboring some dark ambitions for quite a while now. My point is, that a well intentioned and relatively unagressive government might be given pause by the pattern outlined above. A aggressive and ambitious government might seek to exploit that pattern in a bid for a more dominant position in world affairs.

From a military planner's viewpoint, now is a good time for such action. American diplomatic leverage is at an all time low, and recent comments from Bush and McCain about international law etc. may play well here but produce laughter abroad and further weakens that leverage. The American military is obviously quite busy right now, and this does add a little bit of load to the back, a little salt to the wound. And all of this, of course, does cause our military planners to scratch options of the list as reserves of force capacity must be budgeted against a potential emerging Russian threat.

In chess, this would be called a forcing move. Our current leadership plays checkers. I am not hopeful that the administration response will be well strategically well crafted. So far, it seems my pessimism is well founded.

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