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The misled and the unprepared

August 14th, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments
  • War is not a battle between good and evil;
  • War is a battle between the misled and the unprepared.

The conflicts around South Ossetia this week began within one war between Georgia and the independent South Ossetia. Firstly Georgia blockaded the regional capital of Tskhinvali and then began to shell it. This was an unnecessary escalation against the under prepared South Ossetia. However the second and more serious conflict arose when Russia moved significant armored divisions into South Ossetia to support the ethnic Russian town. This resulted in a battle between Russia and Georgia for which Goergia was unprepared. The failing on the part of the Russian leadership to communicate their willingness to support South Ossetia is something for which Russia can be blamed if in deed they had not made this clear to Georgia. If Georgia had understood this then insanity is the only explanation and Georgia will have received the outcome which such leadership tends to ultimately result in: Abject defeat.

The rights and wrongs of this debate are not simple. Since the Second World War the consensus among nations has been to allow autonomy. South Ossetia had been independant for over ten years but had not been widely recognized as a sovereign nation so it would appear not to have been able to have had the benefits of UN membership and been able to claim recognition of a mutual defense pact with Russia that would have automatically permitted action by Russia under Article 51. The defense or Russian citizens outside of Russia’s borders is a much less clear issue.

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