Georgia stuffs it up

Not that Georgia of course, I mean the country.

In one of the stupidest political miscalculations since Bush thought it was a good idea to invade Iraq, the Georgian Prez seems to have decided that since everyone was watching the olympics on telly now would be a good time to “invade” South Ossetia (and amusingly enough, it seems some Georgian troops currently in Iraq are heading home). The Beeb seems to have a reasonable summary.

Notice that I had to put “invade” in quotes above: SO technically is a part of Georgia. But as far as I can tell, it does so in roughly the same sense that Kosovo belongs to Serbia: ie, as an accident of the break-up of old political blocks.

Just to make things more entertaining, Russia then decided on a vast over-reaction and appears to be bombing bits of Georgia largely at random, presumably to punish them for being to Westernised. That’s not going to win them any friends, but I’m very curious to find out what we manage to do about it. Given our current dependence on their oil and gas, I’m betting “not very much”. It would be hard to formalise that, but if I have any takers we could try.

Meanwhile, there seems to have been some rowing at the lympics, in between the smog.

And while I’m here, thanks to PW for the Dire Weasel.

Comments

  1. #1 Greg Laden
    2008/08/10

    What we (the US) has done is to call the Russians on this invasion in a very public way. That, of course, has nothing to do with actual policy.

    South Ossetia (the part that is “in” Georgia) is a separatist area, as are other areas in Georgia, so to the Ossetians, Ossetia is a separate country engaged in a civil war with Georgia, but with the war on hold since 1992.

    The whole thing is complicated by the fact that the Georgians hate the Ossetians, Ingusetians and Chechnyans as much as anybody hates anybody, but they hate the Russians a lot more. So the Georgian tendency would be towards invasion and cleansing along their northern border, but since the above mentioned groups (technically ethnic enclaves in Russia) also hate the Russians, the Georgians are happy to have them around, armed, and annoying the Russians. Which makes the Russians get annoyed at the Georgians.

    Do not be surprised if this ends up being an event that was engineered by the Russians for some reason. The Georgians started it, but they do this every year when the mud dries in the passes. On the other hand, maybe the Georgians ‘invaded’ a bit more than usual this time. The information currently available to assess this situation is not available to us at this time (us as in us, not US).

  2. #2 Eli Rabett
    2008/08/11

    Useful summaries with links to military blogs for details
    http://lefarkins.blogspot.com/2008/08/day-3-evening-update.html

  3. #3 Alastair McDonald
    2008/08/12

    I am not sure if our friends in the US are aware that we in Europe get most of our natural gas from Russia. If we protest too much then they will cut off the supply and our power stations will stop!

    You can see from this map http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44912000/gif/_44912891_georgia_v4_466.gif that the oil pipeline from Azerbaijan passes through Georgia, and if Russia regains control there it will be able to shut down the flow of oil to Europe as well as gas.

    In other words they will have we Europeans caught by the short and curlies :-(