Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hidden War Costs

Condi Rice is really putting the screws to Russia over its invasion of Georgia. She said yesterday that "This is not 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia where Russia can threaten a neighbour, occupy a capital, overthrow a government and get away with it. Things have changed."

Yes, things have changed. Look at what we're doing now that Russia has invaded Georgia. We're talking sternly about it. And we're scowling at them. See us scowl?

I'm sorry, but this is another hidden cost of the war in Iraq. I think that part of the Russian calculation in deciding to invade Georgia was its knowledge that we're not really in a position to respond militarily. We're distracted and overcommitted as it is. We can talk tough, but what are we actually going to do? We can hardly send troops in -- our troops are all busy where they are.

I know that Rice and the administration are going to try to put diplomatic pressure on Russia, threatening them with isolation, being booted out of the G8, and not admitted to the WTO. And good luck, I hope it works. But we'd be in a much stronger position if we had a realistic military option.

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