The Financial Times reports:
As Russian troops advanced further and further into Georgia last month, some officials within the Kremlin became concerned that frontline officers, or even the military high command of the general staff, were overstepping the limits of their authority.
At the same time, however, these Russian generals were grumbling to their colleagues that Moscow had undercut them, and they wanted to finish the operation they had started – the destruction of the “aggressor” Georgian army, a mission which a ceasefire signed by Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, on August 12 prevented them from carrying out.
The Times of London reports on the shoddy, embarrassing quality of the army Russia sent into Georgia, one which NATO could easily have brushed aside at will if it had chosen to do so — yet another serious error made by the Putin regime in connection with the Georgia conflict.
Pictures of triumphant Russian soldiers sitting on armoured personnel carriers as they were driven through towns in Georgia will be among the lasting images of the seven-day war. But the victory did not tell the whole story, analysts said yesterday.
The ageing vehicles were so lightly armed and so uncomfortable and hot to sit in that the Russian soldiers felt safer perched on top. “At least they could then react quickly if there was an attack,” Colonel Christopher Langton, an expert on Russian armed forces at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, said.
The Weekly Standard continues its excellent analysis of the new cold war battlefield. First it dealt with tactical issues, and now it turns to strategic matters.
My brief assessment of the military options open to the West in the ongoing Georgian conflict “The Pain Game: A Military response to Russia’s aggression?” provoked many comments both favorable and unfavorable. The most thoughtful criticism accused me of elevating the tactical over the strategic; i.e., of not looking at the “big picture.” To that I offer a qualified “Mea culpa.” The piece was intended as a focused response to numerous commentators, decision makers, and analysts who said the West had no “military options” in Georgia, when in fact there are such options.
But I have pondered at some length a comprehensive strategic approach to U.S. relations with Russia. These ideas can be found summarized in Chapter 9 of Ideas for America’s Future, which I wrote in collaboration with Mr. Jeffrey P. Bialos of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Transatlantic Relations. The strategy described therein was based on the following premises:
Free & Independent reports:
Col. Sam Gardiner notes, in an interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now, Russia has deployed tactical nuclear weapons to South Ossetia. The SS-21 Missile launchers are relatively weak compared to bombs that have already been used against Georgia by the Russian air force. However, this move does indicate Russia is potentially upping the game from a conventional weapons war to a tactical nuclear weapons war. Gardiner notes that at a news conference on Sunday, the US Deputy National Security advisor has noted these weapons arriving in South Ossetia.
Business Wire confirms the subject matter of the news briefing in Beijing. Link