This is actually pretty interesting. This is a thousand troops that the Marines can use to do all sorts of violent things with, and with no limitations. But the most interesting aspect is Georgia wants in NATO, and this is kind of a double sided insurance policy.
On one side, a move like this will help to up the level of combat effectiveness of the Georgian military. Marines are already training Georgians in their country, and they were doing that even before Georgia’s quick war with Russia. I think a move like this is smart, because now the Georgians will have combat veterans that could make life for an invading force a little more painful if not damn near impossible.
The other side of this is Mikheil is also trying to earn his country’s admission into NATO, so that Russia would think twice before invading again. The question I have, is if Russia would actually care if Georgia was a NATO member or not? Because I think Russia will do whatever they want, despite what club Georgia is a member of.
Now if I was Mikheil, I would develop an asymmetric warfare capability big time. Keep working on this other diplomatic stuff, but if these guys want to make life miserable for an invading force again, they need to start thinking more like Hezbollah and less like some kind of a conventional army. Get some combat time, learn from the enemy in Afghanistan, and apply those lessons to defending Georgia. The Marines will definitely help them to get there, and help them with the asymmetric stuff as well. –Matt
December 19, 2009
Why the young democracy is sending nearly 1,000 troops to the war effort.
By MIKHEIL SAAKASHVILI
Following President Obama’s speech on our common mission in Afghanistan, NATO members and other countries pledged about 7,000 additional troops. My country committed just under 1,000, which makes Georgia the highest per-capita troop contributor to the war effort.
Some might be surprised that a small country not yet in NATO—and partly occupied by more than 10,000 hostile Russian troops—would make this commitment to an Allied mission abroad. Let me explain why it makes perfect sense.
As President Obama pointed out, the threat of violent extremism endangers all nations that subscribe to the principles of liberal democracy. Those principles made America the target on 9/11. Spain was hit on March 11, 2004, and Britain on July 7, 2005. Any of our countries could be next.