Monday, August 11, 2008

Did Saakashvili miscalculate?

Steve Clemons at Washington Note suggests how the Georgian leader Saakashvili may have miscalculated:

Saakashvili's decision to send tanks into South Ossetia gave Russia the trigger that it may have wanted to send in more of its own troops and weapon systems. Russia was ready. Putin, now prime minister of Russia but still the center of power, was relaxing and chatting with George W. Bush in the bird's nest Olympic stadium in Beijing looking quite in control and confident.

It is possible that Condoleezza Rice's July 10th visit to Tbilisi and joint press conference with Saakashvili was interpreted by him that American power and resolve were firmly behind Georgia and its intention to reassert control over the autonomous provinces. The Georgian president miscalculated about American power in the world today and our resolve to take on Russia directly. . .

While the seeds of this conflict between Georgia and Russia had been planted long ago, the U.S. helped engineer events that are now undermining its own interests and the global perception of American power.

When the media report on what drove this "war", commentators should look to Kosovo as well as Saakashvili's own recklessness and overconfidence to further understand the reasons why tanks from both sides rolled into South Ossetia.

If this allegation is correct, "reckless and overconfident" are not the words to describe Saakashvili. For the leader of a former Soviet Republic to imagine the US would support his new nation in a military confrontation with Russia strikes me as nothing short of delusional.


  1. All the week, before Friday, Ossetians were made artillery attacks and assault tries on Georgians positions. Many of those attacks are confirmed by independent observers from OSCE.
    Georgian government was continuously asking for mediation, but with no success.
    Finally, at Friday early morning, Georgian troops moved forward and went into regional capital Tskhinvali, but more important, captured defensive positions on the heights at west and northwest of it. At that time, before Georgians went ahead, about 150 armed vehicles of different types already crossed Georgian border from Russia. Those positions are why Russian army was not able to invade deep inside Georgia immediately.
    It's not really correct to say that Saakashvili get on provocation. He has no other choice then between bad and worst.

  2. I believe you...
    Putin want to go back to the old Soviet Union and always have. After GW destroyed Americas position in the World Putin is ready to do so...anyone who thinks medvedev has any power over Putin is seriously nuts...


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