Monday, August 25, 2008

There's one more on the list

Max Boot, in the Wall Street Journal --

Small states have often shown the ability to humble great powers. In 1920, under the inspired leadership of Marshal Josef Pilsudski, the Poles staged a brilliant counterattack to save Warsaw and drive the Red Army off their soil. In the winter war of 1939-1940 the plucky Finns held off Soviet invaders, forcing the Kremlin to settle for a slice of its territory rather than all of it. More recently, the Afghan mujahedeen drove the Red Army out of their country altogether, thereby helping to bring down the Soviet Union.

It's a nice switch from talking about states to include the Mujahedeen -- but given that leap, even more impressive to omit how the Iraqi insurgency humiliated George Bush in 2005-06.

Later --

They should double their military spending to make themselves into porcupine states that even the Russian bear can't swallow.

Again with the porcupine-bear metaphor. But anyway, it's strange that Boot again chooses to look past the Iraq example. Great powers can defeat local insurgencies with the right tactics. No wonder the Russians feel emboldened.

No comments: