Georgia had been moving towards a very successful Westernization and conversion from the old, corrupt Soviet system. The two pronged invasion by Russian forces sends a chilling message to Ukraine and other nation states. Europe is absolutely apoplectic with fear. Had Georgia's membership in NATO been secured six months ago, this event would likely have never occurred. An attack like this would have brought a response along these lines;
1) United States nuclear attack submarines would penetrate the Black Sea and neutralize Russian Naval assets through interdiction or sinking.
2) NATO air assets from Italy, Turkey and other bases would provide air cover for Georgian forces.
3) GPS weaponry would be employed to execute SEAD missions (suppression of enemy air defense)
4) NATO SOF teams would be inserted to conduct fire missions against any Russian forces.
5) Ground forces from NATO would be mobilized as a stabilizing force against Russian forces
6) A possible declaration of war would follow against Russia by NATO
After that - it could get messy.
Vladimir Putin, the real power behind the Russian government remains a thuggish threat to anti-corruption, free market nations. It is clearly his planned and executed operation which unleashed these forces against an essentially helpless civilian population. There are commentators who make ridiculous comparisons to our invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. The absurdity and post-modern relativism applied in this argument is repugnant. The run up to each of these military actions was well known, communicated and executed in a legal fashion (as legal as war can get).
Russia retains all of its historical bullying and disregard for the rule of law as it ever has. It is partly the fault of nations in Europe who have failed to challenge their largest neighbor for its reprehensible behavior.
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