August 13, 2008

Georgia Involvement?

It seems like Bush is pulling out all stops to help end the crisis in Georgia. Lucky Condi gets to go to Georgia to represent him in this critical situation. (Bet she didn't like having her August vacation interrupted.)

But more worrying: he is also sending American troops to help and from the news reports looks like he's made some specific promises of what they will do that he is in no condition to fulfill.

The United States, Mr. Bush said, “stands with the democratically elected government of Georgia and insists that its sovereignty and territorial integrity be respected.” He said a transport plane was already on its way to Georgia, carrying medical supplies and a contingent of Army and Navy forces to carry out an aid mission.

The Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, hailed the decision as a “turning point,” but also immediately cast the American presence in military terms.

“What I expected specifically from America was to secure our airport and to secure our seaports,” he said, in a telephone interview minutes after Mr. Bush spoke. “The main thing now is that the Georgian Tbilisi airport will be permanently under control.”

So Bush is really sending enough troops to secure Georgia's airport and seaports? Sounds like an awful lot to take on without any backup support.

via Atrios

Posted by Mary at August 13, 2008 04:17 PM | International | Technorati links |

U.S. forces are accustomed to making their own security arrangements, particularly in the last few years. Nevertheless, this is troubling. Essentially, those troops become a tripwire - if the Russians get too close to them, consequences may follow.

Unfortunately, in this situation there's really not much we can do, particularly on our own. If there were already a large multinational force (IOW, NATO) based in Georgia, things might be different. But Russia's in a much better position logistically and numerically. I haven't seen or heard a military expert yet who thinks it's tenable for the U.S.

We in the U.S. stand to lose a lot of face here. Politicians, particularly ones with the emotional maturity of the current President, don't like to lose face.

Stating the obvious, I suppose, but that's why this is potentially so dangerous.

Posted by: Cujo359 at August 13, 2008 10:18 PM