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    Georgia’s Saakashvili: U.S. started sending troops in 2008 Russia war

    by | Feb 5, 2012

    TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian president says Russia stopped its attack in August 2008 after the United States started deploying forces to assist the small country.

    Mikheil Saakashvili was speaking to students at the U.S. Naval Academy February 3, a speech that was carried live on government-friendly TV channels in Georgia.

    “We will never forget that in 2008 we were besieged by an enemy, which was far bigger, far more numerous, far better armed and extremely aggressive. That was the moment when the very existence of my country as is freedom validated in the mortal danger, an existential peril. And we will never forget that that was a moment when on command of the U.S. President and commander-in-chief the U.S. navy started to move toward Georgia. The Sixth Fleet’s ships went towards our sea shores. We had a military-humanitarian operation underway, we had American planes landing on the tarmac of our international airports and just when these orders were issued, we did view the assault on our capital, our government and our people was halted,” Saakashvili claimed in his speech, and remarked that generations won’t forget the US support in Georgia.

    It is unclear what exactly Mr Saakashvili meant by the statement. The American flag ship in the Mediterranean, USS Mount Whitney, landed in Poti with humanitarian supplies, but that was weeks after the war was over, on September 5, 2008. Mount Whitney was the first U.S. navy ship to arrive in Georgia after the war.

    The U.S. had about a hundred Marines and other soldiers in Georgia before the war broke out, which were here to train Georgian soldiers before deployment in Iraq. Germany, France and Israel also had trainers in Georgia at the time.

    A documentary on a small Georgian TV station called Maestro claimed in 2010 that President Saakashvili called a relative during the war saying that U.S. military were deploying via an air base in Turkey, which would prevent a further Russian advance.

    There are currently 4,400 students at the U.S. Naval Academy, which educates officers for service in the Navy and in the Marine Corps. 30 of them are foreigners. While meeting the four Georgian students, Saakashvili said he is proud to have Georgians studying at one of the elite U.S. military academies, and that he intends to increase the number of Georgians in such institutions.


    One Comment, Leave a comment

    1. Davidian


      I am going to agree with Phibion Kadzutu on this issue. Saakashvilli appears to act irrationally. I am continuously reminded of such irrationality when seeing the EU flag waving beside all Georgian flags. Metaphorically, it is like small boys dressing up like soldiers. It also does not appear to be in the interest of Georgia to continuously and deliberately antagonize Russia. Contrary to the current mythos, Georgia does have a closer cultural affinity to Moscow than with Washington DC. Does Saakashvilli really think that by being a blind servant of NATO, Georgia will be invited as a member? For starters, NATO membership requires candidates to have clearly delineated border agreements with its neighbors. Georgia is blocking its own ascension. Even Armenia attempts to negotiate with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh even after Armenians were slaughtered and burnt alive on the streets of Baku. Georgia not directly dealing with its northern neighbor appears simply too don quixote-esque.

      It was not in the US interest in 2008 to sacrifice its relations with Russia to the chagrin of Saakashvilli. Even the Israelis went to Moscow just after the war trying to smooth over and “explain away” Israeli UAV facilities in Georgia (at least one of which was reported captured by the Russians nearly infrastructurally intact).

      Again, it will not be in the interest of the US to intervene if Russia plows through Georgia if Moscow thinks it has to to respond to events that may erupt across the Middle East in the next few months. Saakashvilli’s leadership could also come to an abrupt end if he is caught encouraging northern Caucasian Islamic Russian republics to revolt while the world appears busy during an Iranian nuclear standoff.

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