Thursday, August 21, 2008

Georgia and Russia: Thursday 2008-08-21 updates

It's been quite a week, what with the cease-fire, a supposed Russian withdrawal, sacking of Georgian military bases, warships steaming to and fro, bridges blowing up, SS-21 launchers hitting the highway, threats against Poland, Abkhazian diplomatic maneuvering, pissing matches with NATO, Russian grandstanding and so forth. And despite the energy cards that Russia still holds in its hands, other NATO members are making the sorts of statements that allies tend to make.

Unsurprisingly, the Russian military is still very Russian. Yah, lots of infantry and armor in close-quarters combat, and vulnerable but effective aircraft in the sky. No, no UAVs or modern stand-off capability. But the Russian soldiers on the ground are a largely professional volunteer force, unlike the demoralized conscripts from the Chechen wars.

If Putin wants a new cold war, he has one. The real question is what else Russia is going to do, since Europe and the US are on the receiving end this time.


  1. the Russians also put the Moldovans on notice. did you catch that? they are taking it to the hole on this one.