Clandestine War between Two Poles: Russia-US War in South Ossetia

Monday, August 11, 2008

At last the old wound of the crisis in South Ossetia, the autonomous region in Georgia, opened up with the attack on the region by Tbilisi and the reaction shown to the attack by Russia.
Georgia is strongly against independence-seeking demands of the two regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. This policy of Tbilisi is supported by the United States with the aim of getting concessions from Russia which has joint borders with this country and is opposed to NATO membership of Georgia and Ukraine.

South Ossetia is located in the Caucasus region and was one of the autonomous regions of Georgia under the Soviet rule. In 1990 its status changed to an autonomous republic belonging to Georgia. With the fall of the eastern bloc (the Soviet Union), Georgia gained independence in 1991 and the independence seeking and secessionist groups of South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia. Clashes occurred at this juncture between independence seeking people of South Ossetia and the Georgian residents of the province. The Georgian army declared cease-fire in 1992 to prevent a civil war and a Russian reaction in support of the secessionists of South Ossetia in support of the independence-seeking groups in the province.

With the announcement of cease-fire a peacekeeping force comprising Russia, Georgia and South Ossetian military was formed and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe dispatched an observer group to Georgia to monitor peacekeeping operations.

International experts opine that the new war between Georgia and South Ossetia is some kind of clandestine war between the Kremlin and the White House, each of which is located in one of the opposing poles of the war. The new characteristic of the attack on South Ossetia by Georgian forces is polarization of Russian and US stances.

President Mikhail Saakashvili, who came to power in Georgia in line with the velvet revolutions in the Soviet satellites by the US and with the support of the European Union through Rose Revolution to expand the democracy favored by the West in the Russian backyard, is strongly supported by the White House in the new battle.

After the fall of the Eastern bloc and in the absence of  an equal power versus the White House policies, the US took measures with the aim of surrounding Russia at its borders and the velvet revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia, near the Russian borders, can be analyzed in this line.

Escalation of the crisis at Russia-Georgia borders and the new military attack on South Ossetia by Tbilisi can be analyzed within the framework of two general approaches: First the US and European support for Saakashvili and his policies versus Russia are in line with getting concession from the Kremlin to make Moscow give up its strong opposition to Tbilisi’s NATO membership. Escalation of tension at Russian borders and the danger of civil war are scenarios followed up by the West to force Russia withdraw from its policies. The new clashes in South Ossetia can be analyzed in this line.

Secondly, the display of power by Russia in the South Ossetia crisis is in the opposing pole. Russia’s refusal to withdraw in the face of Saakashvili’s policies and Moscow’s support for South Ossetian secessionists on the one hand indicates Kremlin’s opposition with expansion of NATO towards its borders and on the other is an important message to the new measures taken by the US in East Europe.

The warning of Russian officials to Georgia on revengeful measures to their new movements is also some kind of warning to installing US missile shield in Poland and Czech Republic. Kremlin and various Russian military and civilian officials have warned the White House repeatedly that if their measures are fulfilled in East Europe, Russia would show reciprocal reaction.
Resistance of Russia against Georgia’s attack on South Ossetia and talking about Moscow’s military presence in Cuba and Venezuela can be analyzed in line with Russia’s show of power against the US and as a reciprocal measure vis-à-vis White House moves.


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