Georgia's military is unprepared–Pentagon

Following the Russian invasion of South Ossetia, US military officials headed over to Georgia to do a thorough review of the Georgian military. The report, leaked to the NY Times, paints a rather unflattering picture of the military in Georgia.

Georgia’s armed forces, the report said, are highly centralized, prone to impulsive rather than deliberative decision making, undermined by unclear lines of command and led by senior officials who were selected for personal relationships rather than professional qualifications.

Moreover, according to the report, Georgia’s military lacks basic elements of a modern military bureaucracy, ranging from a sound national security doctrine to clear policies for handling classified material to a personnel-management system to guide soldiers through their careers and prepare them for their jobs.

Expect to hear more of this as Obama deals with Russia in the early days of his administration.


Georgia prepares to re-arm, redesign military

The New York Times is reporting that Georgian military officials are already planning for the next war, with a military shopping list that includes some higher technology weapons. Pentagon officials are reviewing the lists but have yet to make any decisions just yet.

Defense officials in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, said that at a minimum they hoped to re-equip the army’s four existing brigades with modern equipment, and increase the size of the country’s air force. Georgia’s military now includes 33,000 active-duty personnel.

Georgia also hopes to acquire an integrated air-defense system that covers the country’s entire airspace, to arm its land forces with modern antiarmor rockets, and to overhaul the military’s communication equipment, much of which was rendered useless by Russian jamming during the brief war.

Of course if they had just blown up the tunnel they might have a better time at things trapping many Russian forces on the other side of the border.


Victor Kaloyev, Ossetia's heroic air traffic control killer in action in Georgia

You may remember a few years ago a Russian plane crashed because an air traffic controller in Switzerland issued some incorrect orders. You may also remember that a Russian father who lost his children in the crash travelled to the tower later and slashed to death the air traffic controller he found. Victor Kaloyev was his name, and he served eight years for that murder before being released and named a ‘Hero of Ossetia’.

Well now he’s back.

When the Georgia crisis got underway, Victor took his sense of ‘revenge’ and drove into Ossetia to take part in the battle.

“You have to understand,” he told a reporter from the German newspaper Die Zeit after returning from the brief war. “Whoever hits me, is hit back.” The Caucasus is ruled by the principle of justified blood revenge: no-one trusts the police, the courts or the state. Justice is personal.

And the EU has been busy issuing demands and statements of new action against this backdrop. One does not have to wonder very hard to realize how ‘effective’ the EU’s statements will be in this sort of world.


Coast Guard Cutter Dallas to sail into Russian controlled Georgian port

The USCGC Dallas will soon be in Georgia

A US Coast Guard cutter will be arriving in the Georgian port city of Poti despite the presence of Russian forces throughout the outskirts of this Georgian city. Russians have called this plan ‘devilish’ and the amount of aid being delivered comparable to what you could buy ‘in a flea market’.

Stars and Stripes reports the Cutter Dallas is in the area and delivering aid, and while officials haven’t said which ship will goto Poti you can probably surmise there are not a lot of US Coast Guard ships in the region. The Dallas dates back to Vietnam where it shelled sampans with her five inch guns and also took part in US operations in Kosovo. The Dallas has also trained with many of the Naval forces of countries in the Black Sea so she has some familiarity with operations there.

Still, this is going to be an interesting few days.