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The Russia-Georgia War, and You!

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As a full disclosure, I generally lean on the side of pacifism and non-interventionalism. It is my opinion that in the majority of time, messing around militarily causes many more problems than good. I've taken a good amount of interest in the conflict/war between Russia and Georgia. Media sources originally called it the "South Ossetia War", but it looks like it's a full on conflict between Russia and Georgia now.

 

For those of you who haven't followed the conflict, it started (subject to opinion) when Georgia militarily entered South Ossetia, an area on the north side of recognized Georgia, in response to alleged bombings in Georgian villages. South Ossetia seceded from Georgia in the 90's, and has been in a cease fire since. However, no members of the UN have recognized South Ossetia as a sovereign state.

 

Russia entered Georgia on Aug 8, playing "big brother". Since then, the two countries have waged military, propaganda, and cyber war. The city of Gori has fallen into Russian control, and Georgian troops have withdrawn towards the capital. Some reports are saying Russia does not intend to take the capital.

 

This is potentially a big deal since the US has historically helped Georgia. Additionally, some reports today indicate that US helped transport Georgian troops from Iraq along with supplies. This could get messy if peace talks don't go well. Russia has maintained that they are only helping South Ossetia, while Georgia has claimed this is an invasion. The death counts vary wildly, and are probably largely inaccurate.

 

Russia's interest may be oil, since there is a large pipeline running through the area. However, this is pure speculation from Georgian sources.

 

Has anyone else been following this? What's your opinion?

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Largely, the international community has been against Russia's actions, as they have gone quite far past "peace keeping" operations.

 

Dick Cheney, quoted from yesterday: "Russian aggression must not go unanswered, and that its continuation would have serious consequences for its relations with the United States, as well as the broader international community." (Source)

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Unfortunately, this appears to be a planned misadventure by Georgia's president, Mikheil Saakashvili, to fulfill his election promise of taking back the seceded regions. He was counting on a lack of reponse by Russia during the Olympics - he was wrong.

This is not to say that Georgia has no claims to the seceded regions, but this was a miscalculated way of trying to get them back. US and NATO should not get involve in this.

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This might be off-topic but I find it interesting how this happened smack at the start of the Olympics. The world is so focused on the Olympics that this war receives minimal exposure especially in Japan. I doubt many people here are aware of what is going on in Georgie at the moment. Also, funny how Bush is attending the China-US basketball game during this conflict.

 

A friend of mine had an interesting idea. He mentioned that this could be a politically and economically staged war. Georgie would only benefit from Russia's economy if Russia took over. Hence the leaders are all involved and perhaps US is aware of it?

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A friend of mine had an interesting idea. He mentioned that this could be a politically and economically staged war. Georgie would only benefit from Russia's economy if Russia took over. Hence the leaders are all involved and perhaps US is aware of it?

Not sure. I've heard some second hand sources (which is better than you can get on the news) who have said this is very real. Georgia doesn't really benefit from being invaded, imho. Georgia is a soverign country with a slightly different ally base. The speculation I've heard is that the Georgia president used the Olympics to try to make this as small issue as possible. Whoops.

 

Now, why Russia cares so much is another issue...

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Not sure. I've heard some second hand sources (which is better than you can get on the news) who have said this is very real. Georgia doesn't really benefit from being invaded, imho. Georgia is a soverign country with a slightly different ally base. The speculation I've heard is that the Georgia president used the Olympics to try to make this as small issue as possible. Whoops.

 

Now, why Russia cares so much is another issue...

Unifying the ethnic Russians of South Ossetia with the Russian province of North Ossetia, I suppose.

 

And gaining control of the oil pipeline that runs thru Georgia too.

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Since then.......and cyber war.

 

Out of interest what do you mean here - that it's all over the internet? or that they're trying to hack each other / send viruses to tank commanders' laptops, that kinda thing?

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Out of interest what do you mean here - that it's all over the internet? or that they're trying to hack each other / send viruses to tank commanders' laptops, that kinda thing?

Ah, welcome to 21st century war. Russia's biggest news source has been on and offline for the past couple of days (it's slooooowly loading for me now). Georgia's central government web site has been on and offline as well (didn't load). Both sites are presumably being DDoSed by the other side.

 

Interestingly enough, Russia Today says: "Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered an end to the military operation in Georgia. He said the objective - “to compel Georgia to peace” - has been achieved. Medvedev also ordered the Russian military to “eliminate the aggressor” in the event of Georgian forces resuming hostilities. "

 

For some reason, I find "resuming hostilities" to be subjective enough for pretty much anything to cause them to "eliminate the aggressor". Sheesh.

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Unifying the ethnic Russians of South Ossetia with the Russian province of North Ossetia, I suppose.

 

And gaining control of the oil pipeline that runs thru Georgia too.

Bingo. As I understand this, this pipeline is the only thing keeping Russia from an oil monopoly in the region.

 

It's almost funny how both sides are using propaganda to their advantage: "law enforcement agencies" vs "aggression forces", "aggression forces" (from the other side) vs "peacekeeping operations". I know this always happens in war, but it's fairly clear here. I don't think either side is "right". Georgia should have held the cease fire, and Russia shouldn't have entered. We can only hope peace talks can make some progress.

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it seems that it was miss-calculated move on part of Georgia. They have used heavy artillery and air force against South Ossetia killing more then 2000 people and dislocating 30000 or more people form the area ( which is almost 50% of the population) and killing 15 or so peacekeeper ( moistly Russians) BEFORE the Russia responded. The area of south Ossetia was pretty independent since 92 . They signed piece agreement with Georgia week ago before they were attacked. The main city is completely in ruin . Russian response was swift to stop civilian population onslaught. Georgia immediately started crying uncle and perhaps expected NATO or US support.

 

Was the oil important in this? maybe indirectly, but one cannot change the facts who started it where the casualties are. South Ossetia had 2000+ killed... Georgia had 100-200... Most of the damage in Georgia was to military and infrastructure.

 

If there is any humanitarian disaster it was created by Georgia. The way they handled it, most likely prohibits any future integration of 2 provinces back into the same country.

It is hard to imagine that US did not know about pending attack, especially that Georgian and US military had joint exercise 1-2 weeks before the attack.

 

Note: in the old times wars stopped before the Olympics, out of respect.

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