Saturday, August 9, 2008
What is Georgia up to?
No, not the US State, the country that was once part of the former Soviet Union.
I can't for the life of me figure out what Georgia's leaders thought they could achieve by launching an all-out military offensive in the disputed region of South Ossetia. Sure, it's Georgian territory, but since 1992 Russian separatists have controlled it. There was a peace-keeping deal in effect whereby Russian troops occupied the area, and most of the citizens of that area regard themselves as Russian rather than Georgian.
So why suddenly launch an offensive?
Georgia can't hope to stand up against Russia militarily. The former has about nine combat-ready warplanes: the latter, over 1,200. The former has about 100 tanks: the latter, 6,000. The former's army is under 20,000 strong: the latter's, almost 700,000.
What is Georgia trying to achieve?
Why launch a military operation against such hopeless odds?
Either the Georgian leaders have suffered a sudden and communal attack of insanity, or they believe there's some way in which they can manipulate their inevitable military defeat to their advantage.
If there is such a way, I can't see it. The only thing this war is likely to achieve is a whole lot of dead, wounded and displaced civilians, and severe damage to Georgia's infrastructure.