Sunday, September 13, 2015

Why Yes, I Do Miss Bush, Now That You Ask

The defenders of the Obama administration like to defend our limited response to Russia's invasion and dismemberment of Ukraine by saying Bush didn't do anything for Georgia in 2008. I heartily disagree. Did we do more than we knew?

This is interesting:

And “many do not know that the August 14 Hercules flights from Jordan were accompanied by (American) fighters. Many do not know that the statement of the commander of these fights that ‘any activity of Russian planes in the Georgian sky will be considered an attack on the United States of America,’ thus effectively closing the Georgian sky to Russian planes.”

Hercules flights being our C-130 transport planes.

The former Georgian defense minister also notes the American airlift of Georgian troops from Iraq which had the effect of shielding the Tblisi airport from Russian air attack.

While I've defended Bush's response in the waning months of his presidency, the fighter aircraft escort--if true--is new to me.

Which was risky and counted on complete Russian weakness at the time. I would never say that President Obama could get away with that approach now even if he had a reputation as good as Bush had.

He also notes that the presence of the command and control headquarters ship (Mount Whitney) of our 6th Fleet in the Black Sea allowed us to track Russia's aircraft in the entire region.

I honestly didn't know that she has that capability like they are a floating AWACS. Does it? Perhaps he just meant it could receive and coordinate the data from other assets.

Which makes it clear that Democratic charges that involvement in Iraq prevented us from reacting to Russia's invasion was nonsense. Which it was even with what I knew back then.

So we sent ships into Georgian ports to deliver supplies and serve as human shields; we sent in planes to the main airport both to deliver Georgian troops, send supplies, and deter Russian attacks, and we sent fighter aircraft to make sure the Russians didn't interfere with our flights and scared them away.

And we did it quietly to keep from backing Russia into a corner and risking conflict out of pride.

I can't rule out that we've done similar things quietly over Ukraine.

But given what the Obama administration seems to have learned from that 2008 war, I doubt it.

Oh, and here's bonus material from The Dignified Rant in the wake of the Goons of August War:

I wouldn't be shocked at all if, before Ukraine can become a member of NATO, that Russia invades the Crimea to take it from Ukraine before Kiev can cancel the lease.

Russia would probably also send troops into the pro-Russian areas of eastern Ukraine inhabited by many ethnic Russians to have a bargaining chip to get Kiev to swallow the loss of Crimea, at the very least.

But what do I know? When I figured the Olympics would be used by a pseudo-communist country to invade a small democracy, I was thinking Taiwan and not Georgia.

One day, we'll have our national security nose rubbed in the fact that we do in fact have enemies--or at least not-friendly foes--rather than "friends we haven't made yet."

UPDATE: I really shouldn't have left this out: