Troops from the Republic of Georgia
In 2008 while I was training to go to Iraq, the small Republic of Georgia decided to Invade neighboring Russia. What I remember from the time were news reports that Georgia was being attacked by Putin and Russia.
But in the delightful book The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us I learned that it was Georgia that invaded Russia. The books is by the psychologists who designed the Invisible Gorilla experiment. If you don't know about the Invisible Gorilla, check it out on line.
The President of Georgia was in his mid 30s and gathered a group of advisors of his own age to run the government. At the time, Georgia was in a dispute with Russia over two territories on their border. The Georgian President convinced himself that if he moved rapidly to take over the two disputed territories in a swift military strike, that Russia would hesitate to counterattack and Georgia could hold the territories and get international opinion on their side.
I was laughing out loud thinking about this. Russia has the second largest military in the world. Georgia also borders Chechnya, so the Russian soldiers stationed in the area near Georgia have to be ready for trouble. In round numbers, the Russia Army is 25 times larger than Georgia's Army. For an old soldier like me, the saddest and funniest aspect of this plan was resupply. If anything went wrong and the war dragged out, where was Georgia going to get resupply for its Soviet-era, Russian made weapons?
Long conflict was not a problem. The Russians turned back the Georgian Army and attacked from several directions on land and from the sea and air. The Georgian Army fled back to the capital Tiblisi. The war ended quickly. If you wonder how crazy this war was, Belgium would have a better chance invading Germany.
"What were they thinking?" is the question that came to my mind, but at the same time, I remember being drawn into crazy projects that failed completely. Yet at the time the confident project leader had us all behind her.
The Invisible Gorilla is a delightful and humbling book. Really knowing yourself is difficult if not impossible. This book explains why.