The USA has decided to resume the training of the Georgian army suspended last year due to the war in the Caucasus. According to The New York Times, the campaign will begin on September 1.
Jeff Morrell, an official with the United States Department of Defense, said that the training would be resumed to prepare the Georgian army to meet NATO standards in order they could be sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. The first American instructors arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia, on August 17.
The Pentagon officials noticed, that they had notified Russia of the intentions. Morrell tried to make Russia understand that the training was not a measure to have the Georgian army prepared for another large-scale military operation as it happened in August of 2008. As he said, Georgians would be unable to apply the acquired skill in the country.
Morrell added that the USA was prepared to the extremely negative reaction of Russia regarding the plans to train the Georgian army.
It goes without saying that the reaction from the Russian Federation cannot be different. The Russian authorities remember the first training of the Georgian army which began in 2001. Three years later this army tried to occupy South Ossetia for the first time, though there were no large-scale military operations like the one in 2008.
A publication in Foreign Policy magazine also arouses interest at this point. The publication included the rating of unstable countries. Somalia is at the top of the list while Georgia took the 33rd place between Liberia and Sierra Leone.
It is also important that Georgia was included on the other list prepared by the same magazine. This was the list of weapons-importing countries. Georgia took the ninth place, after buying arms for $427 million in 2006-2007. That was very impressive for the small and poor country.
The top of the list was taken by such influential countries as China, India and Brazil.
In addition to the above-mentioned facts, the State Department criticized Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit to Abkhazia on August 12: the visit had not been preliminary coordinated with Georgia.
According to the State Department spokesman Philip Crowley, the USA supports territorial integrity of Georgia and urge Russia to do the same and not to pay visits that may cast doubts on such intentions.
“Obviously, of greatest concern to us is the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia. We think that Russia and other countries in the region should respect Georgia’s internationally recognized borders,” Crowley said.
The Russian experts consider that the USA will probably prepare the Georgian army for sending troops to Iraq. The fact is that the Georgian contingent is one of the most numerous both in Iraq and Afghanistan Georgia is one the closest US allies from this point of view.
For the moment the USA has undertaken not to deliver weapons to Georgia. However, one should not exclude a possibility that the Georgian army will not be at war somewhere else, but in Iraq and Afghanistan.