13 August 2008

Posting, Interruptus

I began this post about a week ago. However, with a sporadic network connection and a lack of the touch of the Lady Muse, I haven't had time to bother finishing it up. So, let me say:

I was going to write about Georgia. What is there to say that hasn't been said already by smarter people than I? Not bloody much.

Here's how my post of a week ago began:

First, let me give you a link which explains the topographical implications of South Ossetia. Logistics drives all military operations--and logistics are driven largely by terrain. So the long and the short of it is that South Ossetia is in large part the key to the continued sovreignty of Georgia.

Which answers the first questions of "who cares" about South Ossetia. Russia is frequently portrayed as relentlessly, irrationally imperialistic. Looks at the road net reveals the logic behind the madness.

Let's also consider the historical background. There's an article in the New York Times. I've read worse summaries, although it also tends to play the Big Bad Russian Empire Card a bit more than is truly necessary. Robert Kagan has a similiar view as well.


More links followed. The first one, to Aargh, is excellent and still quite relevant for understanding the basic military logic of the actions. Here's another retrospective of the run-up to the conflict.

There is some discussion about how Ethnic Diversity, much beloved of Liberals, is largely to blame for the state of the Caucasus.

Now that the shooting has stopped (the interesting part for me) there is some discussion of lessons learned.

Rurik, my favorite commentator on Things Slavic has his early take and his later take.

From the latter comes the best definition of "soft power" I have ever seen as it applies to conflict between Great Powers (not to be confused with Counter-Insurgency, which is all about 'soft power')

"We have just seen an example of the effectiveness of soft power. Georgia with its charismatic president, interesting cuisine, fine wines, and gorgeous scenery had lots of it. Soft power is when the class bully takes your lunch money every day, and you take pride in how much attention you are receiving. All of us occasionally have moments of cowardice, or at least discretion, and arguably the tactical situation might mean this is such an occasion for the USA. But only Liberals brag about it."

Read the final lines of his later post. It makes me wonder whether or not I need to start pulling out the old Cold War doctrinal manuals. . .


Blogger David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 08/20/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Trish | eMailOurMilitary said...

Hope you're feeling better soon!

6:41 PM  
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