Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Dubya Does It Again

Posted by MEC on August 15, 2008

The Wartime President publicly promised the Republic of Georgia that he’d send U.S. naval vessels to provide “humanitarian aid”.

To reach Georgia, those naval vessels would have to sail through waters controlled by our ally Turkey.

And Bush didn’t bother asking Turkey for clearance before making his pronouncement. So far, Turkey hasn’t given permission. It’s probably unlikely they will, given the insult of not asking them.

Even if the U.S. had permission to send the ships through Turkish waters, it would take weeks for them to arrive.

In other words, Bush made an empty promise, just to shoot off his mouth. And apparently I’m not the only person who thinks so:

“The president was writing checks to the Georgians without knowing what he had in the bank,” said a senior administration official.

Sounds like Bush annoyed more the Turks with his impulsive behavior.

13 Responses to “Dubya Does It Again”

  1. A-yep.

  2. Boy Blunder is amazing. Over at MnBlue, I’m tracking Bushisms, and here’s what George orWell Bush said earlier today:

    “Bullying and intimindation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century.” – George orWell Bush, August 15th, 2008

    <a href=

  3. Charles II said

    The one bit of good news is that this probably means that an attack on Iran is off. The military can only do so many missions at one time, and right now I imagine Gates has quite a few people working on what a hot war with Russia would look like.

    Of course, that’s the bad news.

  4. Charles II said

    Oh, here’s a quote for today, from David Michael Green:

    And, quite possibly, Georgia is just the beginning. Russia is now feeling its oats, just as the toxic combination of nationalist pride and rage at perceived prior humiliation goes coursing through its veins. What do you suppose they’re thinking in Ukraine or Kazakhstan or the Baltic states right now? I don’t know, but I’d bet it’s not dissimilar to what the Poles were thinking when Hitler swallowed up Czechoslovakia. There is no disincentive now on the table to prevent the Russians from reannexing their ‘near abroad’, and there will be no American rescue if they do, just as there wasn’t for Poland.

  5. Stormcrow said

    Yeah, like Russia has the cash to buy thousands of AFVs every year, and they’ve got a Heinz Guderian on staff whom nobody’s ever heard about. Including the attaches who watch other countries military exercises like sports fans watch the Olympics.

    I don’t think so. Not for a while, if at all.

    Check out the reports of how much actual new hardware the Russian Federation has bought in the last decade or so. Even if you inflate those numbers by three or four, you’re not looking at a force that’s going to start another major European ground war by choice.

  6. MEC said

    TwoPuttTommy, McCain has Dubya beat for hypocrisy. He announced piously that it’s wrong to invade other nations.

  7. Charles II said

    Stormcrow, according to Global Security, Russia’s military budget– while peanuts compared to that of the US– is 50 times that of Ukraine. And for that matter, how many Ukrainian Guderians are there?

    Green’s point is not that the Russians will necessarily invade, but that fear will transform regional politics. Russia has a history and memories are long.

  8. Which is why Poland cut the deal with NATO, most likely.

    One good thing about this: Expect to see a really big push for renewables in Europe, bigger than what we’re already seeing. They don’t want to be tethered to Russia — or to anyone else — through oil.

    By the way: Gates is talking tough, but he’s already ruled out a military response. He knows full well that the US doesn’t dare do anything more than what’s already being done.

  9. Charles II said

    That’s a very good point about renewables, PW. My hope is that the crises that Bush has created will jumpstart the process of getting off of oil for good.

  10. Stormcrow said

    The point of my mentioning Guderian is that it’s so much harder to effectively project force into somebody else’s real estate than to defend your own.

    Defense is feasible these days with light infantry if they have the right equipment, the right training, and they’re willing to die in large numbers. Their overall organization can be nonexistent. In fact, the more fragmented, the harder it’ll be to deal with them. That’s what we ran into in Iraq.

    It’s when you’re on the general offensive that it helps enormously to able both to plan properly and to have a force capable of modifying plans at the drop of a hint.

  11. Charles said

    Yes, I’ve gamed the battle for Leningrad and understand the nature of defensive warfare. But what defeats the Germans is the reinforcements the Soviets keep receiving… and, of course, the deadline for taking the city that the weather imposes.

    The problem with using Barbarossa as a precedent is that Germany had far less manpower than the USSR, whereas the situation is reversed, almost exactly so, in Ukraine v. Russia. Perhaps even more important, Ukraine has a large ethically Russian population, whereas the USSR had no comparable ethnically German population.

  12. Stormcrow said

    Yeah, Charles, but this isn’t 1941.

    The reason the old pre-Revolution Russian Empire was able to become “jailer of nations” in the first place was because it had an effective monopoly on professional 18’th century “clockwork army” methods east of the Urals and south of Moscow, right down to the border with the Turkish Empire.

    When infantry are limited to three or four aimed shots per minute, maximum, massed fire means everything. So all other things being equal, the force which can concentrate, operate in linear formations, and deliver fire best is going to have an advantage that is usually killing.

    Training had to be brutal and effective to the point of automatic reactions to words of command, because the PBIs were limited to muzzle loading muskets (or rifled muskets during the 1860s) which just weren’t practical to load in any other position than standing straight up. So when it came to fighting, everybody in the line was too terrified to do anything but just blindly react. But these terrified automatons were the masters of every battlefield where they had competent direction.

    Irregulars could hide and snipe, but they couldn’t hold ground when regulars contested it, unless the regulars were grossly mishandled.

    That has all changed, very quickly, over the course of the last 100 years. Longer, really, because magazine rifles and simple machineguns broke the first generation “clockwork army” paradigm. But this was not widely understood until after the First World War.

    Add Hutier tactics. Add the more radical decentralization introduced by Guderian. Add Mao Tse Tung’s ideas. All of these changes tended to decentralize combat power. They also decentralized command and tended to favor more level hierarchies.

    Both of these trends work to level the playing field between regulars and irregulars. They also permit, even favor, grotesquely fragmented defenses with severely dysfunctional or even absent overall command superstructures.

    This wasn’t evident during WW II because that was both a Great Power war and a total war to the N’th degree. But there were hints of what we’d see later. Especially in places like Burma.

    But we don’t fight many total wars anymore, because the next one we fight is going to be the last one we ever fight. That also limits Great Power war to proxy wars in places like Korea and Vietnam and Afghanistan.

    Which means that the decentralization I mentioned above now has free reign.

    And more decentralization keeps being added to the mix all the time. Now, we have information decentralization. We have microcomputers for tasks you used to have to assign suicide troops to. And on the other side of the technical divide, we have groups like the LTTE who have built up and elaborated entire cultures around the concept of suicide attack.

    The United States keeps ramming its head into this particular wall. First, Vietnam. Now, Iraq.

    A century or two ago, neither of these wars would have lasted as long or would have been lost, presuming halfway competent command by the aggressor state. We won the equally despicable colonial war we fought in the Philippines at the turn of the last century.

    My point is that Russia, today, is in exactly the same pickle. Every would-be colonial power is.

  13. Charles said

    I always learn interesting things from you, Stormcrow.

    If I were advising the Russians, I certainly wouldn’t be advising them to reassemble their empire. It always lagged the West because centralized power squashed creativity and initiative. For years and years the United States proved that occupation was the last thing a great power wanted to do: the trick was to use economic power to control weaker nations. Only the lunatics who think we would have won in Vietnam if only the liberal media and Jane Fonda been loyal American still think that occupations work.

    As a side note, a relative was at the second battle of Imphal (and in Burma and over the Hump) so CBI has always been a special point of interest.

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