Aug 8, 2008

War in the Caucasus: Russia and Georgia

By Sean Osborne

08 AUGUST 2008: The Russian Federation and the republic of Georgia have gone to war over the breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia. Russian Su-24 (NATO Name: FENCER) aircraft have bombed Georgia, killing civilians. Georgia claims it shot down four of the Russian bombers. Viedo media is showing scenes of massed rocket artillery firing offensive volleys.

This morning has been greeted by reports of Russian armor (elements of the Russian 58th Army) having crossed the internationally recognized border from Russian North Ossetia into Georgia. The armored column is bound for the regional capital of Tskhinvali (Chreba) which is fully in the control of Georgian military, thus setting the stage for a major battle - which breaking reports indicate is now underway.

There's another potentially crucial aspect to this new war in the Caucasus. This aspect comes the form of a DEBKAfile exclusive report: "Israel backs Georgia in Caspian Oil Pipeline Battle with Russia".

Key excerpt:

"Last year, the Georgian president commissioned from private Israeli security firms several hundred military advisers, estimated at up to 1,000, to train the Georgian armed forces in commando, air, sea, armored and artillery combat tactics. They also offer instruction on military intelligence and security for the central regime. Tbilisi also purchased weapons, intelligence and electronic warfare systems from Israel. These advisers were undoubtedly deeply involved in the Georgian army’s preparations to conquer the South Ossetian capital Friday."

The above was followed by what may well prove to be an incredibly astute observation regarding potential future events should this war get completely out of control:

"Therefore, as the military crisis intensifies in South Ossetia, Moscow may be expected to punish Israel for its intervention."

And so we arrive in a proverbial "gray area," where seemingly non-related conflicts can become so inexorably intertwined and of such an explosive nature that almost any diplomatic initiative will prove to be utterly futile. This "gray area" may also prove to have a very limited existence. In the 21st century diplomacy occurs at a table in laborious face-to-face discussions. Modern warfare, on the other hand, simply erupts and occurs with total shock and awe. The various militaries executable orders are issued to their combatant commands at the speed of light. Think: blitzkrieg on steroids. In this manner a potential and a sheer gravity of events and situations exists, as assessed previously, for various conditions to consolidate into what may well be a geopolitical-military "perfect storm" unlike anything seen in the current modern age of mankind.