Wednesday, May 6, 2009

NATO Exercise In Georgia

One day after a mutiny at a Georgian military bases -- that Georgia blames on Russia -- NATO is holding a multi-national military exercise in Georgia. Russia is protesting the exercise as a provocation aimed in its direction, and some countries have withdrawn in solidarity with the Kremlin.
Dmitri O. Rogozin, Russia’s envoy to NATO, warned that the exercises in Georgia might “significantly affect the stability of the entire South Caucasus.” 

“How can one insist on these exercises with such stubbornness and persistence?” he said

NATO says the operation is not intended to help Georgia against Russia.
we are certainly not doing that. We — as I said, we are assisting them in building their force. On top of what NATO is doing, our military cooperation division at [NATO headquarters] is doing that [building Georgian forces]. We are — we are engaged with our nations who individually support that as well. It’s a coordinated planning effort, but the intent is certainly not that we as NATO collectively see — see a danger or a threat that Russia could invade Georgia.
Building their force against what threat? Who is the biggest threat to Georgia? Is someone other than Russia threatening them?

I'm not in favor of appeasement, and have no illusions about the Russians. But is Georgia a place where NATO wants to take a stand? The NATO spokesman's ridiculous attempt to pretend otherwise not withstanding, there is no reasonable purpose for holding exercises in Georgia other than bolstering Georgia against Russia. Russia may be paranoid, but there is no way they can see a NATO operation in Georgia as anything other than an action aimed at Russia. Why provoke Russia for no good reason?

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