August 17, 2008: Russian troops beat the Georgians on the ground, not so much because of superior numbers, but because the Russians had more troops with combat experience, and very recent experience in fighting this kind of war. The Russians got this way by fighting a successful campaign just across the border, in Chechnya
The Georgians did better in the air and at sea, even though they were greatly outnumbered there as well. Georgian warplanes shot up the Russians pretty badly (killing the commander of Russian ground forces, for example) before the Russians were able to shut down the Georgian air force. But in the process Russia lost at least four aircraft destroyed, and a number of others badly damaged.
At sea, Georgian missile boats hit several Russian warships, which had not been equipped with equipment, or crews, that were capable of dealing with this kind of threat. Two Russian warships were damaged sufficiently that they had to withdraw from the area. Within a few days, however, Georgia's miniscule navy and air force were destroyed, largely by the much larger Russian air force.
The Russians ran a large scale Information War campaign, shutting down Georgian access to the Internet for several days, and blanketing the world media, and Internet, with Russian spin on what was going on in Georgia and why.
The information war found ready believers and amplifiers in the West.
Robert Scheer, who has wandered too far into the fever swamps of the Left for even the LA Times tells us that Georgia war is a neocon election ploy
Leftist commentators are actually congratulating him for his courage to point it out.
Napoleon once said that "when you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna." Putin failed that test and appears to be paying for it.
Germany now supports Georgia's NATO bid and Ukraine is to join the US missile shield in Europe. This is not what Putin wanted but it's what he got.
Rather than intimidating his neighbors, he has just made them concerned enough to huddle closer to the US.
And, his invasion of Georgia’s been good for the value of the dollar vs. other currencies.
How is the Left going to take this? It looks like clear vindication of Bush and McCain with Obama trotting along in their wake unable to do anything but say “me too.”
UPDATE 2: It occurred to me that Robert Scheer will be able to write his next column claiming vindication. See? The evil neocon plot worked!!