August 11, 2008

More good news

Philip Giraldi, the American Conservative's intelligence gossip columnist writes:

"Reports that Russia has moved SS21 medium range missiles close to the front armed with tactical nuclear weapons have been hard to find in the US media. The Russian General Staff believes that it can only offset the huge advantage that the US and NATO have in precision guided weapons by using battlefield nukes if attacked by western forces."

Obviously, this isn't going to go to that. But aren't you glad Bush's plan to have Georgia join NATO got vetoed by those wimpy Europeans? Look how overconfident the Georgians got just from having an informal alliance with us.

By the way, right after General William Odom died earlier this year, I read his book The Collapse of the Soviet Army. It was quite illuminating on why the Soviet Army was so elephantine in 1985: 5,300,000 personnel and 53,000 tanks. You might think that they would have decided that nuclear weapons had changed war fundamentally, making giant armies irrelevant, but that overlooks the role of ideology in the Soviet Union. Since Lenin and Marx didn't say anything about nuclear weapons, well, then, the Clausewitzian verities still applied. Nuclear weapons were just a quantitatively more destructive version of cannonballs and artillery shells, so the Soviet Union just needed enough tanks to lose tens of thousands to tactical nukes and still reach the Atlantic.

Khrushchev didn't really believe that nuclear weapons hadn't changed anything, but ideology continued to have a huge effect on how the Soviets organized and armed the Army.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

23 comments:

Bill said...

Since Lenin and Marx didn't say anything about nuclear weapons, well, then, the Clausewitzian verities still applied. Nuclear weapons were just a quantitatively more destructive version of cannonballs and artillery shells, so the Soviet Union just needed enough tanks to lose tens of thousands to tactical nukes and still reach the Atlantic.

-S. Sailer


One of the reasons Mao encouraged the postwar population explosion in China, or so he said, was to give Chinese a chance in the event of nuclear warfare. He reasoned that neither the US nor the USSR would have enough bombs to vaporize all the Chinese.

RKU said...

Since Ron Paul won't be on the ballot, maybe I'll just write in Putin's name.

After all, he seems one of the very few people right now willing and able to stand up to America's greatest current enemies...

Anonymous said...

Russia's response was swift enough to impress American military observers.

They were so quick on the ball tha I wonder if ole Putin has had Saakashvili's offices bugged months in advance of Georgia's offensive?

testing99 said...

Steve -- I doubt very much Putin would move up nukes that close. If he used them against Georgia there would be too much danger of escalation and while Putin is a Thug of the first order, he's not stupid.

Nor is NATO which is really the US, moving air assets against the Russians. The Russians control the skies, totally. That's why the Georgians are retreating -- they have no air cover.

As usual, American Conservative is just wrong and loony-isolationist.

It *might* have deterred Putin from this latest adventure, where he's committed to conquering Georgia and installing a fairly brutal puppet regime, executing the Democratically Elected (even Jimmy Carter said so!) government. To intimidate and control his neighbors.

On the other hand, it might not have. Pournelle believes it was a good thing not to have Georgia in NATO, it might well have been good to have them in NATO so it would fall apart. NATO is the Holy Roman Empire of alliances -- a paper fiction which has outlived it's usefulness. The only NATO country with significant military power is the US. Everyone else has a paper military fit only for parades.

Ultimately, the US and China will be in conflict and war of some sort, hopefully not direct, with Russia and Iran. Russia and Iran, allied over expensive oil, NEED astronomically high oil prices to maintain their thug network. Just today, Russia effectively nationalized another Western investment to feed their thugs. Knowing it will cost them (Russian stock market has plunged and plunged more).

The US and China NEED cheap oil to make our economies run. China in particular. That makes conflict inevitable in some form.

Moreover, you don't get it. The massive troop network was NEVER about military effectiveness or communist doctrine. Duh. It was about a massive apparatus to crush various revolts in client states and prevent any serious threat inside Russia itself. Look at what happened when Gorby could not pay the Russian Army, Yeltsin could face down the coup plotters because the Army had been unpaid for years and had melted away.

Putin, not being dumb and understanding how things work in Russia, makes sure the Army gets paid (and they know HE's the paymaster). There's less of them than before, more able, but still lots of arms and legs to go out ... and kill people Putin finds a threat.

Anonymous said...

What's the source then? DEBKAfile or other similar fantasist sensationalist?

SKT said...

I don't see the point in having an alliance if everyone gets to join, whether we're talking about NATO here or the EU. I think Russia's traditional sphere of influence should be respected.

Cody said...

Here's ambassador Jeffrey at a recent press conference in Beijing:

In terms of how we've responded to this, the President was informed immediately on Friday, when we received news of the first two SS-21 Russian missile launchers into Georgian territory. He immediately -- this was at the Great Hall -- he immediately met with President Putin. They had a discussion.

This does not imply that the SS-21s are armed with nuclear warheads, but it is interesting that ambassador Jeffrey felt it necessary to inform the president of their presence inside Georgia.

Anonymous said...

The world is a neocon chessboard:

Russia backs Iran and Syria.

So Israel encouraged Georgia in order to neutralize (or at least minimize) the Russian response to the upcoming attack on Iran.

Anonymous said...

Here is another article by Philip Giraldi this time at antiwar.com:

America's Israeli-Occupied Media

This article is dated Aug 12 and deals with Israel and AIPAC, but it doesn't touch on who exactly is controlling the current spin out of Georgia.

America's mainstream media is an embarrassing whore.

Anonymous said...

What a great article on our craven mainstream media by Justin Raimondo:

The Real Aggressor

"The anti-Russian bias of the Western media is really something to behold: "Russia Invades Georgia," "Russia Attacks Georgia," and variations thereof have been some of the choice headlines reporting events in the Caucasus, but the reality is not only quite different, but the exact opposite. Sometimes this comes out in the third or fourth paragraph of the reportage, in which it is admitted that the Georgians tried to "retake" the "breakaway province" of South Ossetia. The Georgian bombing campaign and the civilian casualties – if they are mentioned at all – are downplayed and presented as subject to dispute."

Anonymous said...

Steve, are you noticing the backlash on the mainstream news websites that have comments activated with their stories? USA Today and ABC News both allow comments and the great majority are venting against the obvious media bias.

The American mainstream media is now so clumsy and obvious in their bias it's like Pravda.

If the John Edwards affair & love child media blackout doesn't wake people up then nothing will. How grotesque, stupid and obvious.

And now we get the commissars coming out with their soft headed denials:

Commentary: Media didn't conspire to protect Edwards

It's demented that a guy like Navarrette has the budding career at CNN while Sailer is banned from the industry.

simon newman said...

Giraldi's report just seems to be saying that if US forces attack Russian forces with conventional weapons, Russia will respond with tactical nuclear weapons. That hardly seems surprising. During the Cold War, Russian strategy was to fire all strategic nukes immediately in the event of a hot war, so this is a relatively restrained plan. But the US would have to be totally insane to attack Russia anyway.

Ross said...

"But aren't you glad Bush's plan to have Georgia join NATO got vetoed by those wimpy Europeans?"

No, if Georgia had been admitted to NATo the Russians wouldn't have dared to attack.

simon newman said...

ross:
"No, if Georgia had been admitted to NATo the Russians wouldn't have dared to attack."

But would Georgia-in-NATO have dared attack Ossetia? Seems very likely.

Jeff Burton said...

It was quite illuminating on why the Soviet Army was so elephantine

There is a much simpler explanation to hand: the only war the Russian's military leadership knew was won through massive numerical superiority in conventional arms.

travis said...

As usual, American Conservative is just wrong and loony-isolationist.

-- testing99

Look, I obviously don't want to see Jews destroyed. That wouldn't make too much sense. But I am not an authority on Israel. I'm an authority on Newark. Not even on Newark. On the Weequahic section of Newark. If the truth be know, not even on the whole of Weequahic section. I don't even go below Bergen Street.

-- Philip Roth, The Anatomy Lesson

I'm beginning to think testing99 is a neo-con parody. His latest post reads like dinner conversation overheard in a Zuckerman novel.

Anonymous said...

Can we focus on the obvious? Davit Kezerashvili is 29 years old and is the Georgian Minister of Defense. He has no background in military matters. His youth and inexperience is a direct cause of this debacle.

Anonymous said...

No, if Georgia had been admitted to NATo the Russians wouldn't have dared to attack.

Why are you willing to re-play the fratricide and slaughter of World War I for a border dispute on the other side of the world? That's why the Europeans said no thanks.

--Senor Doug

Anonymous said...

You're wrong to attribute the Soviets' maintaining a huge land force to communist ideology. After all, the Soviets weren't the only power that decided that nukes hadn't rendered conventional arms obsolete. Otherwise, why did the U.S. and NATO keep large conventional forces in Germany all those years? Why did the U.S. Army spend so much time on the AirLand Battle doctrine in the 1970s-80s? John Mearsheimer argues for the "primacy of land power" in his book The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. Last time I checked, he wasn't a Marxist.

Martin said...

"Ross said...

"But aren't you glad Bush's plan to have Georgia join NATO got vetoed by those wimpy Europeans?"

No, if Georgia had been admitted to NATo the Russians wouldn't have dared to attack."

And if Russia had reasoned that it COULD get away with attacking Georgia, despite it being a NATO member, what would have happened then? The US is in no position to fight another war, given our current involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and given public opinion as it is now. If Georgia were a NATO member, and Russia invaded, and we did nothing (and certainly, the other NATO nations would do nothing), then the magical NATO shield would - all of a sudden - be worth exactly nothing.

NATO was a strong alliance during the cold war, as the member nations were defending themselves. But when called upon to defend their former adversaries, they're not that interested. NATO today is a weak alliance. We shouldn't push it.

loerenzoantonio said...

"But aren't you glad Bush's plan to have Georgia join NATO got vetoed by those wimpy Europeans?"

No, if Georgia had been admitted to NATo the Russians wouldn't have dared to attack


why not? NATO wouldn't dare attack Russia since they are dependent on them for energy!

Anonymous said...

The Russians maintained a large conventional army during the Cold War because they also remembered what really beat the Germans in WWII - the Allies overwhelming numbers in men and material. The Germans constantly complained during the war that everytime they knocked out a Russian or American tank, three would take its place.

airtommy said...

"But aren't you glad Bush's plan to have Georgia join NATO got vetoed by those wimpy Europeans?"

No, if Georgia had been admitted to NATo the Russians wouldn't have dared to attack.


Then Georgia would have had free reign to rape & pillage Ossetia. Man, that would've been super! Definitely worth the risk of global nuclear war.