They Will Never Get Alabama

By Major Van Harl, USAF Ret.

I received an e-mail advising me that Wal-Mart had completely sold out of ammunition in all their stores, east of the Mississippi river. Of course my first reaction was I knew this was going to happen. I had even recently written a column on the 36% increase of ammo prices in the past year. Now here was proof that ammo was in short supply.

A TV news camera crew had recorded an interview with a customer standing at the sporting goods counter of a Montgomery Wal-Mart. When asked why he was trying to buy more ammo he stated, �By God, the Russians may have invaded Georgia, but they were never going to get Alabama.�

The Russian �bear� is at it again. The one thing you need to understand is; negotiating with either the old Communist Soviet Union or the new Putin, oil-controlling Russia, has and will always be, a waste of time. They only understand brute force, because that is how they have always done business with the nations around their borders.

So no, the Russians did not get our Georgia and they most likely will never get our Alabama, but they are going to try and get Eastern Europe�s Alabama and that would be the Ukraine. The Russians have always had a fear that people would sneak up to their borders and invade Mother Russia. Of course the Russians have a history of sneaking up to their neighbor�s borders and then quietly having their Cossacks drive the local peasants into their graves.

At the end to WW II the Soviet Union had control of most of their border countries and they liked having a buffer zone between the West and their empire. They lost that buffer zone when the Berlin wall came down. The Russians ran out of money, not the desire to control their neighbors. In fact the Russians on many occasions could not even pay the troops, even with what little they pay their conscripted army.

Well, the Russian �bear� has cash now, lots of cash from the sale of oil to the west. Russia always had oil to sell, but when the price went from the $30 to a $140 a barrel that meant lots of cash to pay for small military excursions into the local, non-Russian countryside.

As I watched the convoys of Russian armor driving on the roads of Georgia, my thoughts were of the Iraqi troops desperately trying to get out of Kuwait at the end of the first Gulf War. They knew that the US Air Force was headed their way and what an A-10, tank-killing aircraft could do to the retreating armor. Well, they found out the hard way just what a 30mm Gatling gun can do to a long line of vehicles running for home and cover. When it was over it was called the �Highway of Death.�

Some how I could imagine Air Force F-16's and Navy F-18's flying top cover for a couple of squadrons of A-10s as the mighty Warthogs put an end to Russian armor. The Russians are not fools and they still have some serious regional muscle to flex, but they are not a global, strategic power and they need to be (regardless of their nukes) reminded of that real soon.

The Russians have this great tool in their arsenal called oil and gas. Europe will have to make a choice; either they are not going to be repeatedly black-mailed by Putin with threats of turning off the pipeline or they can ask the US to leave NATO. I am curious what will happen when Putin attacks a NATO country and the rest of the NATO nations, who fill up at the Russian gas pumps, fail to act in defense of their allies.

No, the Russians did not invade our Georgia and Atlanta is not burning again. The US Civil War was the first mechanized war, where troops and equipment were moved quickly from one battle location to another by means of railroads. The Russians love their mechanized method of invading a neighbor.

Think of the capitol of the small nation of Georgia as their Atlanta and look at what steel and gun powder can do to do a weaker force. The �bear� is not going to get Alabama and it will not get the Ukraine. Didn�t Alabama use to have a �Bear� who knew how to stop his opponent cold? �No Alabama, No Ukraine: Stop the Russians.� Put it on a bumper-sticker.

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Copyright 2008 by Major Van Harl, USAF Ret. All rights reserved.

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