Diplomatic Blowback for Russia?

I find it interesting that mere days after the Russians began their attack on Georgia, a treaty between Poland and the US that had been stalled is suddenly signed.  This treaty actually goes farther than what had been discussed before. Where earlier versions of the treaty were about installing a missile shield in Poland, this one includes mutual defense provisions beyond that of NATO membership.

Between this treaty, Secretary Rice travelling to Tiblisi, and the leaders of the Baltic states travelling there as well, and the humanitarian assistance arriving, the Russians risk widening a conflict they saw as limited and easy to win. Georgia may well end up surviving this, albeit in a terrible strategic position with Russia in the disputed regions.

16 thoughts on “Diplomatic Blowback for Russia?”

  1. I read in my newspaper (Investor’s Business Daily) that the US and allies are considering booting Russia from the G-8.

    The last time Russia invaded a sovereign country was Afghanistan during the days of Soviet glory. They want to win that glory back.

    What the Russians might have forgotten was that the Mighty Soviet Empire was beaten by camel-riding goatherders (armed with US weapons).

    We have declared our support for Georgia; I doubt Georgians ride camels or herd goats, but American arms might mysteriously show up. Not to mention that as the hegemon, America has use of many diplomatic options, many of which will hurt Russia.

    The cynic in me, however, wonders whether Russia cares, though. See, Russia (like China in some respects) does not fit into the current international state system. The Soviet Union didn’t, and Russia doesn’t, so it’s seeking ways to tweak the system, if not destroy it. So current diplomatic conventions do not matter to Russia since they don’t help Russia.

  2. I think kicking them out of the G-8 might be a good start. You want to be treated like a civilized nation? Act like one.

    The Russians figure they have a trump card with oil. To some extent that is true, but not totally. They would do well to consider taking their gains and calling it a day.

  3. Russia and China have always been outlaws, the diff is that:

    1) Russia always distruts the west and China

    2) China is willing to make a deal if they think they can gain in the long term.

    Russia and China played the west against each other during the cold war. China hosted U.S. spies and listening posts a scant 10 years after U-2s were shot out of Chinese skies. Russia wants a warm water port, that whole bosnia-ygo-kosovo thing set them back.

    Now they see the America turing against them. Russia and China will cooperate only enough top play against the west and expand their influence.

    Blowback? Expect to see more Russian arms in Chinese hands. more Russia arms exports to unstable oil-sucking dictators, more temper tanturs that block UN and international santions against hostlie governemtns who happen to be Russsian customers. China will use this for all it’s worth.

    Expect to see China abstaing or blocking a any diplomatic moves against Russia.

    Expect to see Russian oil flow into China.

    Expect to see more inaction and calls for peace untill it’s too late.

  4. Again, I think the Russians are a bit surprised. I think they thought this would be over by now, and the world, presented with a fait accompli, would just suck it up. They have achieved their tactical goals, but not met their strategic goals, which was the whole point. Whether they can gain the at the table is another question. And yes, they and China will make trouble for us just because they can.

  5. My big concern about China was if we did nothing to support Georgia (which I’m glad that we are). Had we failed to do anything for Georgia, it would have been a green light for China to attack Taiwan over some similar constructed excuse. After all, if we’re unwilling to engage the Bear for an ally, we certainly wouldn’t engage the Dragon.

  6. There’s a difference there MikeD. Bush has guaranteed the territorial integrity of Taiwan publicly, and it is US policy to respond to attacks with force. We never said that for Georgia. I agree we need to send Russia a message and cc it to China. I just think they would probably try something in the Spratleys first.

  7. I am just going to throw this out here, I don’t know if there are any Zoomies around here, but I thought that Russia had all these great gen 3.5 or 4 fighters. Where are they? Didn’t the Georgians shoot down one of the old clunkers (sorry I forget SU-25? and cannot find where I saw it at)

  8. The Russians and Chinese have new “double digit SAMs” (SA-20 etc). Called the S-300 (HQ-9 by China), these systems would make short work of the F-16s, F-15 and our drones.

    remember, Georgia used to be part of the USSR, they know the Russians military. What they shot down might have been second line fighters (Mig-27, 25 or early model 29 for instance).

    The newer Russian systems are more deadly.

    The KH-31P (what I can talk about) is billed as being able to KILL the AEGIS , AWACS, Patriot and other radar systems. Most of the new Russain/Chinese cruise missiles and air to surface missiles can sprint at Mach 2+. Out Navy admitted, in open congressional testmony, that they cannot stop the 3M-54 (NATO name Sizzler) missile.

  9. Chock, the trouble with the KH-31P is the same as any antiradiation missile. If you shut off the radar, it has nothing to home in on. Yes, it may have a “memory” but that isn’t very accurate, and it won’t even come close on a moving platform.

    While the various S-300 systems are very formidable, they still aren’t a sure thing. Terrain masking will get you a long way. Plus, since they are semifixed, they are vulnerable to HARMs.

    I’m not that worried about the Sizzler. The problem isn’t speed per se. You Patriot guys routinely intercept far faster targets. The problem is reaction time. A small low target is hard to pick up on radar at a decent range. If you start the engagement in time, you should be OK. Even the old RIM-7s had decent success on fast targets.

  10. Chockblock,
    I am just a stupid Civi, but that is the first i have heard of that.

    It can Kill AGEIS?


    Ok Ageis is old, can we do anything?

  11. Sure, V, turn off the radar and keep moving. I’d be surprised if Aegis/SM-2 can’t pick off a KH-31. Hell, Seawolf was picking off 4.5″ shells 30 years ago.

  12. It’s in the sprint. Those missiles are so fast they can outrun the systems reaction time. In theory. Try resting you arm on a table and catching a crips $1 american that was release 1mm above your opend hand. you can’t do it. Same principle. ARM carriers used to stay away from you, but with these faster missiles, they come in close and shoot.

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