The Other Consequence
I think Digby is definitely right in saying that the hostilities in Georgia will give the neocons another historical incident they will use in the future as an example of how we cannot abandon fellow freedom fighters. But there's another consequence of this resumption of Cold War-era rhetoric - the resumption of Cold War-era weapons systems:
The Wall Street Journal's August Cole had an interesting take on Russia's invasion of Georgia this weekend: it's great for Lockheed Martin, Boeing and other mega-defense contractors. A stock analyst is quoted as saying that the invasion was "a bell-ringer for defense stocks."
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has recently thought out loud about cutting major weapons programs like Lockheed and Boeing's $143 million F-22 Air Force raptor jet and Boeing and SAIC's $160 billion Future Combat Systems. Gates has argued that they bear no relevance to counterinsurgency fighting that is currently taking place in Iraq and Afghanistan. But Russia's invasion of Georgia at least raises the possibility of a future U.S.-Russia conflict. according to Rep. Jack Murtha (D-Pa.), who said as much to the Journal.
As the piece notes, this is a bipartisan problem. There are pieces of the military industrial complex in every state and every Congressional district. The perceived threats we face in the world mean absolutely nothing to those who want to build weapons to face those threats. The mere appearance of a new Cold War is enough to build F-22's and missile defense systems and plenty of other prototypes. The Iraq war has been a windfall for contractors and a new arms race would just open that up even more. This is going to be unbelievably difficult to beat back, and without a recalibration of the military budget providing the kind of investments needed in moving to a post-carbon future, providing health care to all Americans and rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure will be next to impossible.
It's the cherry on top of all the neocon warmongering.