Skip to content

How Georgia Might Win

August 12, 2008

The Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s was once described as similar to the Great War of 1914-18, with the two Third World Powers in stalemate for most of the war. Occasionally one side, especially the less well armed Iranians would launch mass waves of soldiers like the Allies frequently used on the Western front in hopes of breaking the deadlock on the ground.

If this war was World War 1, then the present conflict between Georgia and Russia sounds like World War 2, with mass artillery and rocket assaults, attacks by heavy tanks, massive bombings of population centers, and old style landings on the enemy coast. This is proof that such Industrial Age warfare might be around for a while. Even the US still maintains a mix of such last century arms, i.e. jet fighters,  heavy tanks, and aircraft carriers, even while they conduct 21st Century tactics in Iraq, with UAVs, robot vehicles, smart bombs, and swift Stryker armored cars.

I think the strategy I introduced in an article titled “From Minor Power to the Major Leagues” might be of use for tiny Georgia in its present near-hopeless struggle with her giant Northern neighbor. A nation too small and poor to invest in fleets of fighter bombers, tanks, or battleships might still utilize cheap but effective new arms of the Digital Age, such as the robot weapons mentioned above, in order to make even the great powers think twice before attacking.

A nation armed with even a handful of cruise missile armed diesel subs might deter the sort of blockade the Russians are now inflicting. Ground launched cruise missiles could also be used, well hidden from aerial attack, to force naval flotillas to stay far off from shore to where they are of little use. Small attack planes armed with smart bombs can take the place of high performance and high maintenance jet fighters. These should be able to launch from rough terrain or highways rather than be bound to fixed and vulnerable airports.

Light infantry equipped with anti-tank rockets and portable surface to air missiles can be very effective against the type of heavy tank and artillery armed Russians. They could be very useful against logistics convoys much as the Iraq insurgency attacked US trucks during the conflict. Industrial age warfare is heavily dependent on masses of supplies and fuel, so this weakness should be exploited to the fullest. Swarms of fast armored cars could be used in hit and run raids, especially in urban or wooded areas which heavy divisions dread.

Related News
Blocking the threat – Victorville Daily Press
Iraq, United States: Pentagon strategy shifts to ‘irregular’ warfare – Monday Morning
US forces in Iraq use French anti-insurgency methods – AFP

Yahoo Answers
Does th US Revolution in Military Affairs regarding light strike mobile forces relevant to insurgency warfare?
Question re: unconventional warfare?
troops in iraq, informed of / trained in guerilla warfare?

Powered by StuffaBlog

2 Comments leave one →
  1. charbookguy permalink
    August 12, 2008 9:32 am

    I don’t know Distiller. Seems a few missiles by Hezbollah is enough to make the Israelis nervous. And Saddam’s random Scud firings in the first Gulf War could have potentially changed the nature of the conflict is Israel counterattacked.

    Thing about strategic weapons is you spend a disproportionate amount to defend yourself against them, and it seems never enough.

  2. Distiller permalink
    August 12, 2008 7:10 am

    As a diminutive country there is no use to try and engage an enemy like Russia in industrial warfare. Especially on a terrain like Georgia dispersed small infantry combat teams is the way to go. Nothing larger than a Humvee.
    Keeping a few long-range (sub-strategic/strategic) weapons is nice, but their military effect is questionable – as long as conventionally armed, that is. (I bet Ukraine curses the day they gave away their nukes!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: