President George W. Bush and his senior aides considered — and rejected — a military response to Russia’s 2008 invasion of Georgia, according to a new history of the conflict and interviews with former officials in the Bush administration.
With desperate Georgians begging for American help in closing down the key route through which Russian soldiers were pouring into the country, Bush’s national security aides outlined possible responses, including “the bombardment and sealing of the Roki Tunnel” and other “surgical strikes,” according to a new history of the conflict and independent interviews with former senior officials.
“In that moment of desperation these issues came onto the table, and came to the principals committee” consisting of Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and top Cabinet members, said Ron Asmus, a Clinton administration State Department official whose book, out this week, is called “The Little War That Shook the World.”
“There were people on [Vice President Dick] Cheney’s staff and [National Security Adviser Stephen] Hadley’s staff who said, ‘We can’t let Georgia go down like this.’”
Simply Unbelievable. If Cheney’s staffers and advisors thought “We can’t let Georgia go down like this” that means Cheney agreed and was probably the source of that hawkish opinion. Contrast that with how Cheney declined Bush’s request that he head up Katrina relief. (Wrap your head around that: the Vice President declined to fulfill a request to head up a domestic emergency relief mission from the President). You know, we are lucky the country wasn’t in worse shape when Obama took office.