Skip to comments.Tbilisi admits misjudging Russia
Posted on 08/23/2008 8:44:45 AM PDT by BGHater
Georgia did not believe Russia would respond to its offensive in South Ossetia and was completely unprepared for the counter-attack, the deputy defence minister has admitted.
Batu Kutelia told the Financial Times that Georgia had made the decision to seize the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali despite the fact that its forces did not have enough anti-tank and air defences to protect themselves against the possibility of serious resistance.
Unfortunately, we attached a low priority to this, he said, sitting at a desk with the flags of Georgia and Nato (to which Georgia does not belong) crossed behind him. We did not prepare for this kind of eventuality.
The Georgian military felt there was only a low probability of a massive Russian counter-attack, despite the bloody way in which Russia destroyed Chechnya, on the other side of the Caucasus mountains, in two wars during the 1990s and the fact that separatists in South Ossetia and Abkhazia had Russian backing.
Georgian forces were unprepared when the Russian counter-strike came, Mr Kutelia said. I didnt think it likely that a member of the UN Security Council and the OSCE would react like this, Mr Kutelia said.
His amazement that Russia would use force against a smaller neighbour was echoed by David Darchiashvili, head of the parliamentary European integration committee. No one expected Russia would mobilise and invade, he said
(Excerpt) Read more at ft.com ...
It puts us in a tough spot regarding what (if anything) our nation's diplomatic/military/economic reaction ought to be, sure.
But it doesn't and shouldn't put us in a tough spot when it comes to forming a personal judgment on the situation (which is what this thread has been about).
I see there's an inability or reluctance among some to separate the two.
1. Which offensives/battles are under way in the "GWOT", whatever that means as separate from Afghanistan and Iraq?
2. Which offensives/battles are under way in the Iraq "war"? (Which in reality has been over for years now; at present we have a military garrison that does training and some counterinsurgency, not a "war"...)
3. How exactly are any of these "wars" making you "less safe"? Less safe than what? How did you measure your "safety"? What unsafe things have happened to you since or as a result of any of these wars (or former wars, as in the case of i.e. Iraq)?
You're right... having our military forces in an area (on Russia's border) where active fighting is taking place could never draw us into conflict, could it? I mean, wars never start accidentally, do they?
Whether we get drawn into the conflict is a separate matter from making a judgment over who's right/wrong. Why are you unable to separate the two?
Must have really been putting in extra-credit hours at school (what grade?) to have missed the news, but yes - there's a war on and yes - the good old USofA has taken sides (wrong one) on a matter that's none of it's business and in an area outside our traditional sphere of interest.
Let's say you're right that it's none of our business and outside our sphere of interest. This doesn't make the Russians in the right or add up to an argument that we have taken the wrong side. I still await a coherent argument from you as to why the Russian side is in the right.
Anyone advocating any US interference in this conflict is advocating potential conflict with Russia.
Who advocated US interference in this conflict? Certainly not me in this thread. My point in this thread has been to dispute those who claim that Russia is in the right - no more, no less.
I've served in the armed forces of this nation, I'm a citizen of this nation, and I pay a very large amount of taxes... I say I have as much right to express my opinion on this matter as anyone else does.
You have every right to express your opinion (who ever questioned that?). That doesn't make you correct to posture (with your keyboard, from your home, over your internet connection) as somehow an injured party should this or that foreign policy action be adopted, when in reality you are not and have not been tangibly affected.
Do you have a link on this? I had heard that the pipeline builders refused to build a spur to also include Russian oil.
I expect you know all this, in fact I would be money on it.
You’re correct in that they (present owners) didn’t want to tie into the Russian system. They (Russia) were offered a minority stake in the BTC but it was to remain strictly independent of existing Russian resources. My understanding is that BP owns 30%, along with ownership by Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey along with Israel. Israel importing some of the oil for their use from Ceyhan on the Med then transporting to Ashkelon where they use some for domestic purposes and then trnasport some out of their Red Sea Port at Eilat further east.
The article I read describing this arrangement was here at FR when the invasion occurred. I’ve searched but can’t find the specific article.
Arrest our Border Patrol if they interfered!
Georgian forces were unprepared when the counter-attack came, Mr Kutelia said. "I didn't think it likely that a member of the UN Security Council and the OSCE would react like this," he said.
His amazement that Russia would use force against a smaller neighbour was echoed by David Darchiashvili, head of the parliamentary European integration committee. "No one expected Russia would mobilise and invade," he said. Georgia's 20,000-strong army - built up at a cost of $2 billion with the help of US advisers and cast-off Warsaw Pact equipment - was organised to deal with wars with separatist enclaves on its borders, not to do battle with Russia.
Mr Kutelia still blames the Russians and their South Ossetian allies, saying that in early August Ossetian fighters began to shell Georgian positions and villages.
He said Russia had begun to move heavy armour through the Roki tunnel from North Ossetia before Mikheil Saakashvili, Georgia's president, unleashed his military against the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali on August 7th, but offered no evidence to back this up.
I’m not equating anything, all that such matters *exist*. Furthermore, if the president says he doesn’t recognize such things as a matter of *policy* then GREAT! However, geopolitics show that they *do* own the neighborhood. For all our yelling and screaming the fact is they do. As they’ve painfully demostrated.
Maybe not on this thread, but when this nonsense started over in S.Ossetia there were a bunch of FReepers (including some I respected) who were talking about the need for the US military to rapidly dispatch A-10 Warthogs and B-2 Stealth Bombers into the region. That was within minutes of the start of the conflagration, before anyone really knew much of what was going on. Already calls for tank-busters and stealth bombers were up.
A couple of hours after that the real FReaks started coming out of the woodwork. It began with some calling for a naval group or two (meaning aircraft carriers) to head for the region, which was followed by a number of FReepers asking for nuclear missiles to be given to Georgia by the US. Then the craziest post of all came out, when a certain FReeper (name withheld, but if he is reading this it is still the most ridiculous post I've ever seen) started saying that we should give 'suit care nukes' to Chechen terrorists (the layers of stupidity in that post are too intricate to fully elaborate on, but let it suffice to say that the Chechen terrorists are part of the Al Queda umbrella, and any nuke given to them would more probably be used against the US than against Russia).
Thus, the FReaks may not be out on THIS thread, but they sure were out for over a week saying how they would tackle the situation if they were president. Fortunately, no matter what one may think of our president and how conservative or not he is, he is definitely magnitudes more intelligent than the sum total of those FReaks. Some posts (like the nukes to the Muslim queda-connected Chechens) were actually a level below typical DU stupidity.
Anyways, this thread may be free of calls to take the fight nuclear, but for over a week there were threads filled with 100-Star armchair Generals giving a step-by-step POV of how they would take the fight nuclear, and how Russia would just stand there and do nothing as Moscow gets nuked.
With that said, my thoughts: i) Georgia got played by the Russians. ii) Russia had no intention of saving the Ossetians .....simply wanted to punch the Georgians in the nose and show that NATO was nothing more than a paper tiger. iii) There is no 'good side' in this fight ....the Russians were in the wrong, but the Georgians are not the saints people were making them out to be. iv) Georgia has lost S.Oss and Akhz. Georgia's sovereignity is intact, but it's integrity is busted. v) It seems that Putin really is the KGB monster some always said he was. vi) People expecting the US to take an Iraq-style approach towards Russia will be sadly disappointed. We only attack weak nations ...if we cannot do jack against Iran and N.Korea, people expecting A-10s to riddle Russian tanks are going to be waiting a long while. vii) With that said, we need a president who can at least pretend very well and act tough. That is not BHO.
suite-care nukes = suit-case nukes
Right, so you agree.
but when this nonsense started over in S.Ossetia there were a bunch of FReepers (including some I respected) who were talking about the need for the US military to rapidly dispatch A-10 Warthogs and B-2 Stealth Bombers into the region.
But what does this have to do with the issue at hand (=is Russia right or wrong)? Because Freepers in some other thread advocated military action, and you don't (I'm guessing), that makes Russia....right? No. Yet that was the tack taken by L.J.
As I've said multiple times now, some need to learn to separate the issues (1) is Russia in the right and (2) should the US have a military response.
[more irrelevant stuff about posts you read in other threads from other Freepers and disagreed with, deleted]
iii) There is no 'good side' in this fight ....the Russians were in the wrong, but the Georgians are not the saints people were making them out to be.
Who's making Georgians out to be "saints"? Oh, nevermind, I can guess - probably someone in some other thread.
While I agree with you there's no 'good' side necessarily, that doesn't mean one side can't be way more in the wrong than the other. I think most people here know which side that is, even some of the ones pretending not to.
Yes they did. The war in question began August 7 when Georgia's military invaded S.O. Georgia said the invasion was a response to S.O. shelling into Georgia, but the S.O.'s said that isn't true. Who's telling the truth? Who knows?
That doesn't mean the attack wasn't justified
You're looking at recent isolated instances to back up your opinion that US ally Georgia is right and Russian ally S.O. is wrong. My opinion on this matter comes from the root cause of this fighting... the USSR broke up, Georgia gained it's independence from the USSR and the people of the two autonomous regions in Georgia took that opportunity to seek their independence from Georgia.
I believe those people have the right of self-determination. You need to understand that the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are not Georgian, and have historically been in conflict with Georgians. They have (successfully) resisted Georgian control since 1991 - that's when this conflict really began.
They responded, as was their right, and Russia, who set the whole thing up, came pouring into Georgia because they had tanks and troops waiting and poised in preparation of Georgia taking the bait and defending themselves.
Maybe you're right... maybe the Russians did engineer the August 7 conflict (I think the Georgians did, but who knows). You can't really use the presence of Russian troops in the area to "prove" your point though - armed conflict has been going on in this area since 1991... you don't think the Russian forces have been there since, oh, say... 1991?
But as I said, the root cause of this wasn't a result of anything other than a centuries-old conflict between people who don't want to controlled by Georgians, and the Georgians who want to control them by force of arms.
I expect you know all this, in fact I would be money on it.
How can you invade a part of your own country?
Will you still be singing that tune when it’s the Southwestern US seceeding to form Aztlan?
Ask Abraham Lincoln
Should have known I was dealing with a Neo-Confederate.
Check my posting history... nobody here is more opposed to the invasion and colonization of the US by mexico.
That said, there won't be an aztlan - why would there be? This will be a hispanic nation within the next 50 years. The fact that we're not only allowing it to happen, but actually financing it with our taxes and electing fools to the highest offices that cheer it on and encourage it, says to me that we deserve what's coming.
Besides, what's happening in Georgia isn't similar to the mexican invasion here, it's similar to Kosovo... a region populated by one people being invaded and colonized by another people. As I said in another post, the autonomous regions of Georgia are historically, predominately non-Georgian.
Sorry, but you are wrong, Georgians didn’t start the War, Russia did. They set Georgia up by supplying missiles to S O. who then used them to attack Georgia and when Georgia retaliated the Russians moved in troops they had stationed at the border for just this purpose. The Russians had no business being in Georgia regardless. You can spread your BS whereever you want, but don’t expect most of us here on FR to believe it, I certainly don’t.