The Russian invasion of Georgia brought back some fond memories for me.
20 years ago, I was serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army Reserve as an Armor officer. I did my initial officer training at Fort Knox and I served at a National Guard unit in Staten Island, NY and with a Army Reserve duty station in Dublin, California. I learned all about armored vehicles and especially learned about Soviet weaponry.
Seeing a vehicle and telling if it’s ‘friend or foe’ or exactly what kind of vehicle it is makes me want to re-up again. (Hey, journalists! The vehicles in the picture above are NOT tanks! They’re BMPs! Armored personnel carriers! Get it right!)
Back then, the Russians were the enemy.
This week’s invasion of Georgia re-enforces my belief that the Russians cannot be trusted with anything democratic. The Russians still have tendencies in totalitarianism and absolute power. Go back the the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 to see how they overthrew the Czar and killed him and his family. (I still think Vladamir Lenin is really pro wrestler, Ivan Koloff.) They’ve done it to Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968 and Afghanistan in 1979.
This military action is not in the least surprising.
We’ve seen how many democratic gains of the early 90’s have been slowly but surely pushed back by the Kremlin leadership. Media and journalism has been curtailed, elections have been scrutinized. Even former president and current Prime Minister Vladamir Putin at one time was considering doing away with presidential term limits.
The US and NATO are in an interesting situation. How to react and what punishment should take place? Whatever the decision they make, it should be quick and decisive.
Though Russia’s military might has been curtailed because of the collapse of the Soviet Union, they still have nuclear weapons and are capable of using them. Their army is still well trained and equipped. The speed and accuracy of the Russian military shows me the world should be very concerned about an extended conflict in the region.
Are we looking at the beginning of the bad ol’ days?