Watching the news coverage, it is obvious that the Russian Bear is back and on the prowl. The wholly disproportionate response to the Georgian attack into their breakaway promise clearly showed the Russians were spoiling for a fight. Ralph Peters has some excellent columns (Link and Link) to try and put it all in context, but the short answer is Russia is back and on the prowl. Another good column by Max Boot on the subject. It will be interesting the see the reaction from the former countries ruled by Russia, i.e. Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Czechoslovakia,etc. versus the tepid reaction of the Germans and French. It will be a true test of NATO to see if the alliance is ready to stand up to the resurgent Russians. Given the alliance's lackluster response in Afghanistan, I'm not holding my breath. Clearly Europe has gone fat, lazy and apathetic, more interested in their six weeks of vacation than defending their freedom.
However, it's just as interesting to note the Russian's performance from a military point of view. The Russians clearly did very well, but I wonder how they would have fared against a country with an Air Force, or even well dug in soldiers with a lot of modern anti-tank weapons.
Look at these fat targets for an Apache Helicopter or a trooper with a Javelin missile.
I mean seriously, do the Russians still do this? One good artillery barrage and these guys are hamburger.
Of course, it helps to outnumber you enemy 4 or 5 to 1 and have complete air domination.
It will be interesting to see a cold analysis of how each side actually fared in combat.