I had thought that the U.S. was sort of out of options as far as confronting the resurgent Russian Bear as it mauled Joe Stalin’s old stomping grounds. But I had not thought of this: Sending U.S. troops in with humanitarian aid, a sort of latter-day Berlin Airlift, if you will.
This accomplishes a couple of things: It applies soft power in a way that also puts the U.S. military smack in the middle of the confrontation, thereby drawing a line in the sand. It’s an approach that combines subtlety with bravado. With statements such as this from Bush:
We expect Russia to ensure that all lines of communication and transport, including seaports, airports, roads and airspace, remain open for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and for civilian transit…
The U.S. both establishes itself as the nice guy, but also, in the words of Huck Finn, "dares them to come on."
I don’t know, but this may be the right approach. What do you make of it?