Category Archives: Military

Krauthammer on the Russia-Georgia situation!

Krauthammer provides what he believes are our options in Real Clear Politics this morning…

1. Suspend the NATO-Russia Council established in 2002 to help bring Russia closer to the West. Make clear that dissolution will follow suspension. The council gives Russia a seat at the NATO table. Message: Invading neighboring democracies forfeits the seat.

2. Bar Russian entry to the World Trade Organization.

3. Dissolve the G-8. Putin’s dictatorial presence long made it a farce but no one wanted to upset the bear by expelling it. No need to. The seven democracies simply withdraw. Then immediately announce the reconstitution of the original G-7.

4. Announce a U.S.-European boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi. To do otherwise would be obscene. Sochi is 15 miles from Abkhazia, the other Georgian province just invaded by Russia. The Games will become a riveting contest between the Russian, Belarusian and Jamaican bobsled teams.

All of these steps (except dissolution of the G-8, which should be irreversible) would be subject to reconsideration depending upon Russian action — most importantly and minimally, its withdrawal of troops from Georgia proper to South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The most crucial and unconditional measure, however, is this: Reaffirm support for the Saakashvili government and declare that its removal by the Russians would lead to recognition of a government-in-exile. This would instantly be understood as providing us the legal basis for supplying and supporting a Georgian resistance to any Russian-installed regime.

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U.S. to take control of Georgian ports: Saakashvili (refuted by Gates via Condi)

UPDATE 8/13/2008 3:22 PM
Condi Rice just announced in her press conference covered by Fox that SecDef Gates has stated previously that the U.S. has no intentions of “taking control” of ports and airports through which aid will flow. It appears that Saakashvili was mistaken (or at least guilty of wishful thinking) in his earlier announcement.

Original Post — August 13, 2008…1:22 pm
Just in from Reuters, according to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, the humanitarian aid from the U.S. will mean that…

Georgian ports and airports will be taken under the control of the U.S. defense ministry…

[…]

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I’ll believe this when I hear it from the WH, Rice, or Gates.

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Putin Endorses McCain–Well, sort of!

Just as Obama’s glow from his “endorsement” by Nuri al-Maliki had begun to fade, along comes Putin to remind voters what a dangerous place the world really is–and that putting a very junior Senator at the helm would be insanity.

Before Obama’s 200 national security advisors could reach consensus, the voters were also reminded of McCain’s long-standing admonition that he didn’t see Putin’s soul when looking into his eyes–he saw the letters “K-G-B.”

And as for Obama (in the words of Rich Lowry in Real Clear Politics)…

the Bush and Obama statements in the immediate wake of the crisis could have been issued by a joint campaign. Bush’s spokeswoman urged “all parties,” both Georgians and Russians, “to de-escalate the tension and avoid conflict.” Obama declared that “now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint.” In their implied moral equivalence, these reactions were a little like urging the Kuwaitis to de-escalate with Saddam’s Iraq in August 1990

Putin might as well have uploaded an ad for McCain on Youtube. Here’s Lowry’s take on McCain’s history with Russia and Putin…

McCain’s proposal from a few months ago to boot Russia from the G-8 has gone from seeming needlessly provocative to practically prescient. Together with the surge in Iraq, the Georgian crisis is the second strategic matter on which everyone else has followed the senator’s lead.

McCain warned of Russian designs on its “near-abroad” when Boris Yeltsin was still in power, and advocated the enlargement of NATO into Eastern Europe — as a way to cement those countries into the West and check Russian adventurism — years before the Clinton administration adopted it as policy.

McCain’s judgment benefits from years of marinating in national-security issues and traveling and getting to know the key players; from a hatred of tinpot dictators and bloody thugs that guides his moral compass; and from a flinty realism (verging at times on fatalism) that is resistant to illusions about personalities, or the inevitable direction of History, or the nature of the world.

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Here’s a link to an earlier post which illustrates McCain’s prescience on Russia (Youtube video embed’s from 1999 & 2000).

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McCain’s prescience on Russia (Youtube video embed’s from 1999 & 2000)

McCain got it right on Russia and Putin as far back as 1999. Watch these two videos and see if you don’t agree.

HT: Jonathan Martin at Politico!

Here’s the 1999 Video…

And here’s the 2000 Video…

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Scientists Say Invisibility Cloak Now Possible (Updated 8/13)

UPDATE 8/13/2008 at 7:58 AM: Here is a follow-up article at BBC that provides some additional information on this topic… Invisibility cloak ‘step closer’. And here is the original article by Xiang Zhang in NatureThree-dimensional optical metamaterial with a negative refractive index (there is a fee to access the entire article in Nature).

Original Posting on 8/11/2008

This is a huge step forward.

From FoxNews.com (excerpt and link)…

People can see objects because they scatter the light that strikes them, reflecting some of it back to the eye. Cloaking uses materials, known as metamaterials, to deflect radar, light or other waves around an object, like water flowing around a smooth rock in a stream.

Metamaterials are mixtures of metal and circuit board materials such as ceramic, Teflon or fiber composite. They are designed to bend visible light in a way that ordinary materials don’t. Scientists are trying to use them to bend light around objects so they don’t create reflections or shadows.

[…]

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Russia initiates cease-fire but continues bombing (map included)

UPDATE 8/12/2008 9:30 am:
Per The Independent UKRussian President Dmitry Medvedev said earlier today that he had ordered an end to military operations in Georgia. But Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze told Reuters that Russian jets were still targeting civilians.

UPDATE 8/11/2008 8:18 AM:
Here’s a link to a post which illustrates McCain’s prescience on Russia and Putin as far back as 1999 (two video embeds)

UPDATE 8/10/2008 5:32 PM:
From the NY Times, here is a summary that seems to provide some glimpse into Russia’s objectives…

A column of Russian forces was also seeking Sunday night to enter Georgian territory from Abkhazia, another separatist enclave to the west, and Abkhaz fighters were massed at the boundary line, an Abkhaz official said in an interview.

The advance appeared to answer the question on which the conflict had been pivoting: Would Russia simply occupy the two separatist territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, or would it push into Georgia, raising the possibility of a full-scale invasion?

Gori, about a 45-minute drive south from the capital of South Ossetia, Tskinvali, sits in a valley that is the main route connecting the east and west halves of Georgia.

Mr. Utiashvili said the Russians were “trying to cut the country in half.” He said that if they tried to occupy Georgia, “there will probably be guerilla warfare all over the country.”

In Washington, American officials reacted with deepening alarm to Russia’s military activities on Sunday. Georgian troops had tried to disengage, but the Russians had not allowed them.

“The Georgians told them, ‘We’re done. Let us withdraw,” one American military official said. “But the Russians are not letting them withdraw. They are pursuing them, and people are seeing this.”

Additionally, it was reported that last night that Russia was bombing the Tbilisi International Airport and today is bombing a military airport at Tbilisi.

Read the article at Daily Mail Online UK.

Click on image to see full map…

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‘Invasion of Georgia’ a ‘3 a.m. moment’ (Ben Smith–Politico)

Ben compares the responses of McCain and Obama this morning in Politico

While Obama offered a response largely in line with statements issued by democratically elected world leaders, including President Bush, first calling on both sides to negotiate, John McCain took a remarkably—and uniquely—more aggressive stance, siding clearly with Georgia’s pro-Western leaders and placing the blame for the conflict entirely on Russia.

[…]

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Here is the full text of the McCain statement (per JohnMcCain.com)…

Today news reports indicate that Russian military forces crossed an internationally-recognized border into the sovereign territory of Georgia. Russia should immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations and withdraw all forces from sovereign Georgian territory. What is most critical now is to avoid further confrontation between Russian and Georgian military forces. The consequences for Euro-Atlantic stability and security are grave.

The government of Georgia has called for a cease-fire and for a resumption of direct talks on South Ossetia with international mediators. The U.S. should immediately convene an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council to call on Russia to reverse course. The US should immediately work with the EU and the OSCE to put diplomatic pressure on Russia to reverse this perilous course it has chosen. We should immediately call a meeting of the North Atlantic Council to assess Georgia’s security and review measures NATO can take to contribute to stabilizing this very dangerous situation. Finally, the international community needs to establish a truly independent and neutral peacekeeping force in South Ossetia.

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