Friday, August 22, 2008

Not Just Camping Out

The US military has been training the Georgian Army since 2002. Us troops were scheduled to leave Georgia in March of 2009. It appears the schedule has been changed.

During the Soviet era, Krtsanisi military base outside Tbilisi was home to the Red Army.

Now it is US soldiers who are in charge and, according to the US Ambassador in Tbilisi Richard Miles, they are in Georgia to stay.

In 2002 the Bush administration set up an 18-month, $65m programme aimed at training and equipping Georgia's impoverished army.

The programme was part of America's war on terror and it started after the US confirmed Russian allegations about the presence of Chechen and al-Qaeda fighters in Georgia's Pankisi Gorge, on the border with Chechnya.

Details are still to be announced of the new permanent programme, but analysts say that any sort of US military presence is good news for the Georgian Government, which sees the US engagement as a security guarantee against Georgia's northern neighbour - Russia.
So lets see. America will have Patriot Battery troops in Poland and a permanent training base in Georgia. What does a permanent training base mean? Airfields. And what does that portend? Fighter aircraft based in Georgia to protect supply flights. It also means that the Georgian Army can be resupplied with American eqpt. We have a lot of used eqpt in Iraq that can be transfered to Georgia once it gets replaced by new American eqpt. Nothing like second hand eqpt. to teach maintenance.

Some how I don't think this is what the Russians expected when they moved into Georgia. It also means that Russian resupply to Iran is complicated. In case of American "trouble" with Iran.
Last week, the Bush administration also called for Russia to remove its military and said it was even prepared to take up some of the costs needed for the relocation of Russian troops.
Now there is something the gangsters running Russia can understand. Bribery.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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