Russian troops have been ordered to stop moving forward in Georgia.
Reports out of Georgia say that the Russians captured Gori in central Georgia:
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and effectively cut the country in half. Russian "President" Dmitry Medvedev ordered all resistance pockets in Russian occupied Georgia destroyed.
What does this all mean? Well, Georgia was feeling that the U.S. would back its move in to South Ossetia. After all Georgia backed the U.S. move in to Iraq. The Georgians were wrong. The 600 lb gorilla in that region is still Russia, despite whatever ties to the U.S. countries may have.
This move by Russia was basically to say: "The U.S. will not help you. You are on your own, and you exist only because we allow you to. Our allies are safe. We will protect you. Where is your ally the U.S. now?" And they are right.
The U.S. will not stick its neck out for these small Baltic states. Sure we want to be "allies" with them because we get to put CIA bases on their land to spy on Russia. But we are only allies in name only. When the fit hits the shan, the U.S. will do little to aid them. UNLESS Russia decides not to stop. It is reasonable to allow an invasion and a pull back as long as Russia gets out of the country it invaded. I expect that the Russians will pull back to the borders of Georgia and hang out there, content with destroying much of the Georgian military, and sending its message.
If Russia does not pull back, if they continue forward, then the U.S. has to do something. The UN can't help here, Russia has veto power in the Security Council, and the UN is a gutless entity anyway. The U.S. does not want this, neither do the Russians.
It is a good thing that the Russians have stopped. The situation remains dangerous. The reputation of the U.S. is severely damaged. We look like fair weather friends, and who needs that kind of friend? These countries want a friend who will throw in with them when their worst nightmare occurs. That worst nightmare happened to Georgia when the Russian tanks rolled in. "Hannibal ad portas" Is what the Romans used to say to scare their children, and to justify military expansion and spending. In the Baltics and in the former Soviet countries, Hannibal is Russia. And we just stood by and Hannibal run wild.
What angers me about this whole situation is that we can do absolutely nothing about it. We are weak in the region, and a confrontation with Russia is unthinkable. The Russians know this and thumb their nose at us. The cold hard fact is that some allies are worth more than others. We would have never allowed Russia to penetrate deep in to Poland, Turkey, or France. Imagine if Russia cut Germany in half. Never mind for the moment that they would have to march through all of the central European countries to do it, say the just air lifted their armies to France and started to march across it. It would be instantaneous world war. But Georgia? Acceptable loss.