Monday, August 11, 2008

Georgia Evening Roundup

The Times (London) reports the Georgian Land Forces pulled out of Gori in disarray. Presumably the troops that fled do not include the Georgian battalions being shuttled in by the US from Iraq -- those are probably the best units the Georgians have. But with the main east-west highway and rail links cut in two places; the heartland and capital isolated from the country's ports; and the Georgians unable to interdict the Russian supply routes over the Caucasus passes, the game is pretty near up.
The New York Times reports at least some Russians in Senaki (see my earlier post), although the Russian and Georgian governments both say that the Russian troops pulled back from that place. The Russian commander in Abkhazia is demanding that Georgian forces near the Abkhazia borders disarm.
The New York Times piece also says that Russia has named its terms: the Foreign Ministry says that Georgia must pull its troops out of South Ossetia and enter an agreement renouncing the use of force against that territory. The Georgians would be well-advised to accept those terms, and be lucky to get them.
Probably, however, the Russians are going to try to add some more, possibly unwritten terms to any deal -- including the political demise of President Saakashvili, and an end to Georgian attempts to cozy up to NATO and the US. The Russians will want the US trainers assisting the Georgian military to leave. The Russian Foreign Ministry, so far, is not accepting Georgia offers of a cease fire.
Georgia has lost. The question now is what this misadventure is going to cost. If Georgia is going to get away with nothing more than definitively loosing South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the US and Europe are going to have to assert themselves a little, and lay down some red lines.

1 comment:

louielouie said...

the Georgian battalions being shuttled in by the US from Iraq

i think a parting gift would be appropriate to give to every georgian soldier who helped us