Read e-book online A Little War that Shook the World: Georgia, Russia, and the PDF

By Ronald Asmus

The short battle among Russia and Georgia in August 2008 looked as if it would many like an unforeseen shot abruptly that was once long past as quick because it got here. Former Assistant Deputy Secretary of country Ronald Asmus contends that it used to be a clash that was once ready and deliberate for your time by means of Moscow, a part of a broader technique to ship a message to the United States: that Russia goes to flex its muscle in the twenty-first century. a bit conflict that Shook the area is an engaging examine the breakdown of kinfolk among Russia and the West, the decay and decline of the Western Alliance itself, and the destiny of japanese Europe in a time of economic crisis.

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Additional info for A Little War that Shook the World: Georgia, Russia, and the Future of the West

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Exactly what combination of Russian, North Ossetian, Chechen, and other troops were involved was not always clear—and is not to this day. What was clear was that these movements were a violation of existing accords and of Georgian sovereignty. They were threatening to Georgian villages and positions in South Ossetia and possibly to the Georgian government itself, given past Russian calls for regime change. Tbilisi’s growing sense of siege was reinforced by the fact that neither Moscow nor South Ossetia made any effort to respond to Saakashvili’s ceasefire or to his sending an envoy to meet with senior Russian or South Ossetian officials.

Tbilisi’s growing sense of siege was reinforced by the fact that neither Moscow nor South Ossetia made any effort to respond to Saakashvili’s ceasefire or to his sending an envoy to meet with senior Russian or South Ossetian officials. There was no evidence that Moscow wanted to calm the situation. On the contrary, Saakashvili was cornered by a Russia that seemed intent on escalating the pressure on Tbilisi by creating new facts on the ground. Moscow was delivering a de facto ultimatum. He could either acquiesce to the encroachment of Russian power and abandon and lose the separatist provinces once and for all or he could fight back in a hopeless battle to try to defend Georgian citizens and positions there with the likelihood that he would be crushed—but with some hope that a show of military force might lead the Russians to halt their plans or mobilize the West to intervene diplomatically before Moscow could crush him.

In doing so, they were daring the Georgians to retaliate and run the risk of killing Russian soldiers—thus sparking a broader conflict with Moscow. It was another example of how the peacekeeping arrangements on the ground had become a farce. It was difficult to believe that such attacks were not orchestrated with Moscow’s support and blessing. The South Ossetian government, and in particular the chain of command on defense and security issues, was dominated by Russian intelligence officers. A dozen key members of the separatist government in Tskhinvali were Russian—including the prime minister and the defense and interior ministers, as well as the head of the national security council.

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