I’ll tell you what I would do if I was the President of Georgia right now. I would make Russia pay as dearly as possible for this victory. Right away, this very minute while Georgia still has an air force, I would muster every combat aircraft and ballistic missile and order attacks on Russian soil. Moscow is probably too far to hit, but I would identify the most important strategic Russian asset within bombing range and launch an offensive to reduce it to rubble. Forget playing this defensive game that Russia is forcing. Go on a hard offensive with everything left.
A very American response. The Georgian Republic deserves a lot more than the platitudes it is currently receiving — here is a nation that is begging to be a part of the West: EU membership, NATO membership, 2,000 soldiers supporting our mission in Iraq, and a strong ally in the War on Terrorism.
How is that professed friendship and alliance being repaid?
If I were a Georgian, this would be a defense-in-depth followed by the most aggressive anti-personnel campaign I could reasonably muster. This is not a nation that should be easily conquered. Most of the topography lends well to regions where the Russian Army’s performance has been catastrophically poor: Chechnya, Afghanistan, and Dagestan.
It isn’t just Georgia that is at stake, nor is it even the Caucascus region. American prestige and reliability is at stake. If we cannot help our friends, why wouldn’t the Georgian people find it easier to live under Russian totaltarianism, rather that as the focus of it’s imperial rage?
You hear more Democrats railing for action in Georgia than Republicans at this point, and not for the sole point of illustrating how America is currently involved in two wars some still feel as unnecessary.
The way the United States used to combat totalitarianism was simple: funnel as many guns and ammo to those fighting on the front lines. It takes a version of realpolitik many leftists are uncomfortable with, but such support for West Germany, Taiwan, South Korea, Afghanistan, Israel and elsewhere was often the best insurance against the spread of totaltarianism.
Perhaps the scales are falling off. It’s still a dark world after all, and just maybe American exceptionalism is something to appreciate rather than assume will endure.