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Caucasus Crisis

Philip
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Caucasus Crisis

Postby Philip » 08 Aug 2008 13:48

The new crisis in the Caucusus,between Georgia and Russia over the independent enclave of South Ossetia,has erupted into open war,with the Georgian military attack on the "rebels".Georgia's ambitions to join NATO,who are encouraging it to do so, is the main reason for the
trouble,as Russia is opposing NATO's eastward expasnion ,especially after the end of the Cold War.These may be the opening shots of CW2.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... egion.html

Caucasus in crisis: Georgia invades rebel region
The Caucasus have descended into crisis after Georgian troops launched a full-scale military assault against Moscow-backed rebels in an attempt to wrest control of the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

By Adrian Blomfield in Moscow
Last Updated: 6:22AM BST 08 Aug 2008

Previous1 of 2 ImagesNext Georgian troops move towards the South Ossetian border Photo: GETTY/AFP
A Russian peacekeeper guards his outpost at the South Ossetian border Photo: GETTY/AFP
Georgian military commanders confirmed an invasion began in the early hours of Friday morning, raising fears of a serious diplomatic crisis between the country's western allies and Moscow.

The United States swiftly called for calm, but appeared to apportion more blame on Moscow and the separatist forces it supports for taking the volatile region to the brink of war.

"We're urging Moscow to press South Ossetia's de facto leaders to stop firing," a US State department official said. "We're urging Tbilisi to maintain restraint."

Just hours after Mikheil Saaskashvili, Georgia's pro-western president, declared a unilateral ceasefire, his armed forces began an artillery barrage against Tskhinvali, the rebel capital.

Military commanders indicated that a full-scale invasion was underway and would not stop until Georgia had regain control of the self-proclaimed republic, which attempted to secede in a bloody war that ended, unresolved in 1994.

"Despite our call for peace and a unilateral ceasefire, separatists continued the shelling of Georgian villages," Mamuka Kurashvili, a senior Georgian commander, said. "We are forced to restore constitutional order in the whole region." A rapid deterioration in the separatist crisis began over the weekend when at least six people were killed in a shoot-out after an improvised explosive device detonated as a Georgian military convoy drove past.

But tensions had been mounting in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another rebel province, ever since Nato promised Georgia that it would one day be allowed to join the alliance. Incensed by the idea of Nato expanding within the former Soviet Union, Russia stepped up its support for both regions.

The United States condemned Russia's interference in the region as provocative, while the European Union has repeated its commitment to the inviolability of Georgia's territorial integrity.

Relations between Russia and Georgia have been sour ever since Mr Saakashvili was swept to power in 2003 after the Rose Revolution and pursued a determined policy to break free from Moscow's influence.

Fighting worsened yesterday morning when shelling was reported in South Ossetia's ramshackle capital of Tskhinvali, while artillery rounds were fired between loyalist and pro-rebel villages in the province. The rebels succeeded in destroying at least one Georgian armoured personnel carrier.

At least one Georgian soldier was killed and four wounded in what Tbilisi described as "large-scale battles". Two rebels were also said to have been killed.

"The fighting is more serious than we've seen for some time," one senior diplomat said. "How serious it's going to get is unclear. While there are hundreds of breaches of the ceasefire every year, what's happened over the past few days is of a completely different order.

"The big question is what the Russians are doing." Georgia repeated accusations yesterday that Russia was continuing to arm and finance the rebels. "The military assistance rendered to the separatists' criminal regime by the Russian Federation, in violation of all agreements, cannot be assessed in any other way than as another act of aggression against Georgia," the Georgian foreign ministry said.

Russia, however, blamed Georgia for the escalation in violence and accused Tbilisi of building up troops along the South Ossetian boundary line.

"We urge the Georgian leadership to show common sense and stop irresponsible military activities in South Ossetia," Grigory Krasin, Russia's deputy foreign minister said. "We view the situation as extremely dangerous. It has indeed reached a stage of unprecedented drama."
Last edited by Rahul M on 11 Aug 2008 09:21, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited title.

Philip
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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Philip » 08 Aug 2008 16:40

Russia and Georgia on the brink of war!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... orgia.html

Vladimir Putin vows Russia will retaliate against Georgia

Vladimir Putin has said that Russia will retaliate against aggressive action taken by Georgia in its rebel region of South Ossetia, raising fears of a regional war.

By Jon Swaine
Last Updated: 12:12PM BST 08 Aug 2008

Conflict in Georgia is threatening to involve Russia as the government seeks to oust separatists in South Ossetia. ; http://link.brightcove.com/services/lin ... 1717866841 http://www.brightcove.com/channel.jsp?c ... 1139053637
The Russian Prime Minister's threat came after Georgia, which is attempting to regain control of the breakaway enclave through military action, claimed Russian jets had bombed several of its villages.

Speaking from the Chinese capital Beijing, Mr Putin, whose country supports the Ossetian separatists, said: "It is regrettable that on the day before the opening of the Olympic Games, the Georgian authorities have undertaken aggressive actions in South Ossetia.

"They have in effect begun hostilities using tanks and artillery," he added. "It is sad, but this will provoke retaliatory measures."

South Ossetian leaders said at least 15 civilians had been killed by the Georgian action so far. Russian peacekeepers intervening in the region said Georgian forces had shelled their positions, killing several servicemen and wounding others.

The Georgian President, Mikhail Saakashvili, claims that Georgian civilians have been bombed in three attacks by Russian jets. "I call on the Russian Federation to stop bombing peaceful Georgian towns," he said in a televised address to the state.

President Saakashvili added: "We have mobilised thousands of reservists - I ask you not to be afraid of the attacks."

He has said "the greater part" of South Ossetia had been "liberated" by Georgian forces. However a Georgian Government spokesman denied Russian media reports that they had entered Tskhinvali, the South Ossetian capital, claiming "we want to give time to the remaining civilians to leave Tskhinvali." But he added Georgian forces would enter the capital "if the need arises".

Eduard Kokoity, South Ossetia's leader, told Russian media his troops were still in control of Tskhinvali. "We are in full control of the capital city. Fighting is on the city limits," he said.

Earlier Georgian troops, backed by warplanes, pounded separatist forces on the outskirts of the South Ossetian capital hours after launching an assault on the breakaway region following a short-lived truce.

Georgian artillery shelled Tskhinvali, where government and separatists envoys had been due to meet for Russia-mediated peace talks later, and many houses were ablaze.

Russia, the main backer of the separatists who have controlled the region since a war in the early 1990s, accused Georgia of treachery and urged the world community to avert "massive bloodshed."

Several Russian MPs have called for military retaliation to be taken against Tbilisi in response to the moves by Georgia. Konstantin Zatulin, a leading MP, said: "Russia must interfere in the conflict to stop the violence. Russia must consider a military operation because our peacekeeping contingent will not be enough to ensure peace in the region."

The Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, will chair an emergency meeting of the Russian Security Council in the next few hours to discuss the situation. His spokesman said: "The Security Council will consider as soon as possible proposals to settle the situation in the region."

The UN Security Council failed early this morning to reach an agreement on the situation in an emergency meeting. It had been discussing a Russian-drafted statement that called on Georgia and the separatists to immediately halt hostilities.

South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another tiny republic, broke away from Georgia after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. After bloody conflicts they claimed independence, but this has always been disputed by Tblisi and is not officially recognised internationally.

Georgian leaders have long vowed that they will bring the two states back under its control, and accuses Russia of trying to annex the regions for itself.

Tensions had been mounting in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another rebel province, ever since Nato promised Georgia that it would one day be allowed to join the alliance. Incensed by the idea of Nato expanding within the former Soviet Union, Russia stepped up its support for both regions.

Mr Putin said that he had spoken about the situation with US President George Bush, who is also in Beijing for the opening of the Olympic Games, and with Chinese leaders.

Karan Dixit
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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Karan Dixit » 08 Aug 2008 21:50

"Russia is fighting a war with us in our own territory," Saakashvili told CNN, calling on Washington to help.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080808/wl_ ... etia_dc_38

---

What kind of help can Washington provide to Georgia?

Will USA deploy troops in Georgia? If this were to happen then it will be the first time in the history when American troops will fight Russian troops. Deployment of US or NATO troops in Georgia seems unlikely.

Will US enhance war making capabilities of Georgia? This option is also dicey. Because Russians can return favor by enhancing war making capabilities of Iraqi resistance forces.

So, what kind of help is Georgia expecting from USA? It will be nice to hear from some experts on USA.

NRao
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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby NRao » 08 Aug 2008 23:18

Neither the US, and, much less any NATO country can do much - outside of talk (Bush and Putin discuss Georgia fighting)

Starting this during the start of the Olympics was a nice tactic on the part of RU.

No cold war here. Not yet at least. As long as A'stan remains unsolved, the West really cannot afford to crank up the temperature - no one the EU is really ready to restart all this mess.

ANALYSIS-Georgia takes gamble with move on rebels
Georgia pays price for its Nato ambitions
Georgian Membership in NATO and EU May Fall into Deadlock
(A RUian news item) The Caucasian conflict in the context of world politics
Analysis: why the Russia-Georgia conflict matters to the West

KLNMurthy
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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby KLNMurthy » 09 Aug 2008 01:32

Georgian Army Moves To Retake South Ossetia

"I am obliged to protect the lives and dignity of Russian citizens, no matter where they are located," said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, chairing a session of Russia's security council in the Kremlin. "We won't allow the death of our compatriots to go unpunished."

Eat your heart out, my fellow Indians.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby JaiS » 09 Aug 2008 04:47

Kokoity Claims 1.400 Killed in Tskhinvali

Kokoity stressed that it was preliminary information only. “Over 1.400 were killed. Later we’ll have more accurate data, but the order of the approximate number is really that big. We received this information from the relatives of those killed.”

Late on Thursday the Georgian party started shelling the capital of South Ossetia claiming that they were carrying out an operation restoring the constitutional order in the breakaway republic. On Friday morning the land phase of the operation – the storm of Tskhinvali – began, with Georgia’s armored machines and Air Force engaged.

Russia’ sent its 58th Army to the zone of hostilities. In the evening South Ossetia’s authorities reported that they managed to oust the Georgian troops from the city, with Russia’s military contributing much to it. In its turn, Georgia claims to keep control of Tskhinvali.

Raj
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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Raj » 09 Aug 2008 06:21

Here is an English language channel from Russia.
http://www.livestation.com/

John Snow
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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby John Snow » 09 Aug 2008 07:42

Where is our own special correspondent! Igorr?
Kak po rooskie?

Singha
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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Singha » 09 Aug 2008 08:55

Allah! CNN shows pix of Su-25 Frogfoot aircraft bombing georgia proper like Tbilsi (capital)!
pic of a burning tank is also seen. someday within my lifetime I hope to see Yindia show
similar courage in tackling nepal and bangladesh.

TBLISI, Georgia (CNN) -- Bombs rocked Tbilisi early Saturday morning as the fight between Georgia
and Russia over a breakaway region intensified and moved into the Georgian capital.

Government buildings, including the Parliament, were evacuated when the bombs fell.

Heavy casualties have reported on both sides since Russian forces moved Friday into South Ossetia,
a pro-Russian autonomous region of Georgia.

Russian bombers were targeting Georgia's economic infrastructure, National Security Council
secretary Alexander Lomaia said, including the country's largest Black Sea port, Poti, and the main
road connecting the southern part of Georgia with the east and the airport.


Georgian television reported that the port had been destroyed.


Georgia, a former Soviet state, sent troops into South Ossetia on Thursday, aiming to crack down
on the separatists, who want independence or unification with North Ossetia, which is in Russia.
Russia responded Friday, sending troops into the Georgian province where it had peacekeepers stationed.

"I saw bodies lying on the streets, around ruined buildings, in cars," Lyudmila Ostayeva, a resident of
the South Ossetia capital, Tskhinvali, told The Associated Press on Friday.

"It's impossible to count them now. There is hardly a single building left undamaged," she said
after fleeing to a village near the Russian border, AP reported.

"They (mine: georgian army) are killing civilians, women and children, with heavy artillery
and rockets," Sarmat Laliyev, 28, told AP.

One U.S. State Department official called the conflict a "very dangerous situation" and said
diplomatic moves are afoot around the globe to stop it.

Georgia -- on the Black Sea coast between Russia and Turkey --
appealed for diplomatic intervention.

Georgia asked the United States for planes to bring back its 2,000 troops serving as
part of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, a U.S. official said.

"All day today, they've been bombing Georgia from numerous warplanes and specifically
targeting [the] civilian population, and we have scores of wounded and dead among [the]
civilian population all around the country," Georgia's president, Mikhail Saakashvili, said Friday.
"This is the worst nightmare one can encounter."

Russia's ambassador to United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, put the blame on the Tblisi government.

"What is going on is a massive bombardment of residential quarters in Tshkinvali and other
towns, too," Churkin said.

Eduard Kokoity, head of the rebel government in South Ossetia, said that 1,400 people were
killed in the province, according to Russia's Interfax news agency.


Hundreds of people, possibly thousands, are fleeing South Ossetia to the Russian region of
North Ossetia-Alania, the United Nations reported Friday, citing Russian officials.

About 150 Russian armored vehicles have entered South Ossetia, Saakashvili said,
and Georgian forces had shot down two Russian aircraft.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, quoted by Interfax, said Russians had died because
of Georgian military operations in South Ossetia.

Russia "will not allow the deaths of our compatriots to go unpunished," and "those guilty will receive
due punishment,"
he said. "My duty as Russian president is to safeguard the lives and dignity of
Russian citizens, wherever they are. This is what is behind the logic of the steps we are undertaking now."

South Ossetia, with a population of about 70,000, declared independence from Georgia in the early
1990s, but it was not internationally recognized. Many ethnic Ossetians feel close to Russia and have
Russian passports and use its currency.

Interfax quoted the Georgian Foreign Ministry as saying that strikes by Russian aircraft killed
and wounded personnel at a Georgian air base and that Russian planes have been bombing
Georgian territory throughout the day. Georgian officials also report four Russian aircraft shot down.

The U.S., NATO and the European Union have all called for an end to the fighting. President Bush
and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin discussed the conflict Friday, the White House confirmed.

By early evening Friday, a Georgian Cabinet minister said the country's forces have taken
control of Tskhinvali, Interfax reported.

The Novosti news agency, citing the South Ossetian government, said Georgian tanks and infantry
attacked Tskhinvali, and "a large part of the city has been destroyed. Over 15 civilians have been
killed, several buildings are on fire in the city center, and the local parliament building has burned down."

But Russian and South Ossetian officials said Russia was making inroads in fighting Georgian forces.

"Street fighting in Tskhinvali has lasted for many hours. Ossetian home guards are using grenade-launchers
to destroy Georgian tanks. Eyewitnesses say tanks are burning throughout the city. The turning point is
approaching in the battle for the capital city," said the Web site of the South Ossetian Information and
Press Committee.

The committee also said Russian armored vehicles have entered the northern suburb of the city.

Violence has been mounting in the region in recent days, with sporadic clashes between Georgian
forces and South Ossetian separatists.

Georgian troops launched attacks in South Ossetia late Thursday after a top government official said
a unilateral cease-fire offer was met with separatist artillery fire.


Lomaia said Georgian troops responded proportionately to separatist mortar and artillery attacks on two villages,
attacks he said followed the cease-fire and Saakashvili's call for negotiations.

Russian peacekeepers are in South Ossetia under a 1992 agreement by Russian, Georgian and South
Ossetian authorities to maintain what has been a fragile peace. The mixed peacekeeping force also includes
Georgian and South Ossetian troops.

Deans
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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Deans » 09 Aug 2008 09:18

Interestingly the perception in the Russian press is that Georgia timed its `police action' in South Ossetia with the Olympics, to attract as little attention as possible. Their hope seemed to be that the US will deter any aggressive action by Russia.

A couple of thngs could happen:
- A million Georgians live in Russia. (the polupation of Gerogia being 4 million'ish). The
expulsion of Gerogians from Russia,along with an economic boycott, could well lead to
the collapse of Georgia's economy.
- Abkazia can be the next flash point.

Igorr
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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Igorr » 09 Aug 2008 11:04

Deans wrote:Interestingly the perception in the Russian press is that Georgia timed its `police action' in South Ossetia with the Olympics, to attract as little attention as possible. Their hope seemed to be that the US will deter any aggressive action by Russia.

A couple of thngs could happen:
- A million Georgians live in Russia. (the polupation of Gerogia being 4 million'ish). The
expulsion of Gerogians from Russia,along with an economic boycott, could well lead to
the collapse of Georgia's economy.
- Abkazia can be the next flash point.
Ethnic Georgians in Russia mostly have local citizenship and are loyal for Russian state. Also the Georgian economy is one big PO$, why the should come back? If somebody could be extradicted those only illegal migrants from Georgia.
This is the action of an active pacification, against the antidemocratic Saakashvili regime, who repressed its people, not against Georgian people.

Karan Dixit
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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Karan Dixit » 09 Aug 2008 11:25

NRao wrote:No cold war here. Not yet at least. As long as A'stan remains unsolved, the West really cannot afford to crank up the temperature - no one the EU is really ready to restart all this mess.


I personally do not think Russia will assist Al Queda in Afghanistan just to get back at USA. There are a number of players including Russia who do not want Al Queda to gain strength in Afghanistan.

However, Russians will be perfectly willing to help Iraqi insurgency if Russians perceive that Americans were directly or indirectly behind the loss of Russian lives.

So, I think it is the Iraq not Afghanistan which is beginning to become a serious burden for USA.

Igorr
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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Igorr » 09 Aug 2008 11:58

Some sites of Georgian goverment are hacked http://www.const.gov.ge/killer.jpg
Image
Image

Singha
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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Singha » 09 Aug 2008 12:01

what is the name of the 8 wheeled howitzer? kind of looks like a denel G6 SP
except that G6 has a smaller front cabin and six wheels only

Philip
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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Philip » 09 Aug 2008 12:37

Igorr has not mentioned this fact,but there are US troops training the Georgian armed forces in Georgia as we speak.Sakashvili tried a fst number,to attack South Ossetia on the eve of the Olympics,well knowing that Putin would be there,that during the Olympics traditionally warring nations stopped fighting through cease-fires and that the 216 days of the Olympics would give him enough time to ethnically cleanse S.Ossetia.

However,the tension began when he wanted Georgia to join NATO.Russia,especially after the burial of the Cold War,cannot understand why NATO wants to expand its members from the former Soviet Bloc countries,right upto its borders,justly feeling that it is being deliberately encircled.India also feels the same what with Chinese encirclement of India in the IOR.Georgia's hasty ambitions to join NATO and the fear of such consequences by small territories like S.Ossettia saw Russian peacekeepers holding the peace.Shakashvili's utter recklessness might have catastrophic consequences for him,as the US and NATO are fully engaged in their other Middle eastern wars!

Analysis: Georgia's decision to shell Tskhinvali could prove 'reckless'President timed action to coincide with Olympics, says academicDavid Hearst and James Orr

guardian.co.uk, Friday August 08 2008

It has always been hard to work out who fired the first shot in any of the many conflicts that had broken out in the Caucasus.

Ever since June 1992, when the tiny mountain enclave of South Ossetia won the first round of its bid to detach itself from Georgia, the two sides have been intermittently at war.

But the flare-ups in the last decade have been skirmishes, and for a while it looked as though peace had broken out.

The weapons used today — tanks, multiple rocket launchers and fighter aircraft — made the fighting qualitatively different.

Observers had little doubt that the operation to take South Ossetia back under Georgian control bore the hallmarks of a planned military offensive.

It was not the result of a ceasefire that had broken down the night before - it was more a fulfilment of the promise the Georgian president, Mikhail Saakashvili, had made to recapture lost national territory, and with it a measure of nationalist pride.

The assault appears to be have carefully timed to coincide with the opening of the Olympics when the Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, was in Beijing.

Tom de Waal, of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting and an expert on the region, said: "Clearly there have been incidents on both sides, but this is obviously a planned Georgian operation, a contingency plan they have had for some time, to retake [the South Ossetian capital] Tskhinvali.

"Possibly the Georgians calculated that, with Putin in Beijing, they could recapture the capital in two days and then defend it over the next two months, because the Russians won't take this lying down."

If Georgia calculated that Russia would be inhibited by Putin's presence at the Olympics, that soon backfired.

Within hours, the Russian president, Dmitri Medvedev, chaired a session of the security council in the Kremlin, ordering units of the 58th Russian army to retake Tskhinvali. The Russian president's military credentials are so weak - he had no other choice.

Many of the 75,000 inhabitants of Tskhinvali and its outlying villages are now Russian citizens, with passports and rights to settle in Russia.

Northern Ossetia, with whom the southern separatists want to join, is formally part of the Russian Federation. While Georgians view South Ossetia as a part of its sovereign territory, there is a rival Ossetian claim.

It predates the current authoritarian regime in the Kremlin, but still links the enclave to the mothership of the Russian Federation.

Jonathan Eyal, the director of studies at the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi), warned that all-out war between Russian and Georgia would amount to "the worst crisis in Europe since the end of communism".

He described Georgia's decision to shell Tskhinvali as a brazen effort to humiliate the Russians.

"It is clearly a calculated gamble by the Georgians," he said.

"If they manage to overrun South Ossetia, where there are probably only around 1,000 Russian troops at the moment, they will have humiliated Russia and would have created a triumph for themselves.

"They will also have propelled the west into a diplomatic involvement on the ground."

Eyal claimed there was considerable sympathy among western powers over Georgia's difficult relationship with Russia.

He said the country was suffering from a deliberate "strategic fermentation" of the separatist movement by the superpower.

However, he warned that taking on Russia at a time when Medvedev was keen to establish his influence carried significant risk.

Russia could not afford to stand quietly by while Georgia made such a public assault on its troops stationed in the region, he said.

"There is an element of trying to call the Russians' bluff by assuming that the Russians will not be able to afford all-out war in Georgia," he added.

"I personally don't buy that … Putin cannot afford to be seen to be humiliated in such a brazen, public way. It's inconceivable that the Russians will sit quietly by.

"The only possible outcome is that either a ceasefire is negotiated and a mediation effort begins, or it goes out into an all-out war."

Eyal said he believed Georgia's move to strike South Ossetia would generate a mixed reaction from world powers.

He described a feeling that the country was "more sinned against than sinning" but that there was also significant frustration over the actions of its president.

"If it goes into an all out war, the predicament for the west is acute and the crisis would be the worst crisis in Europe since the end of communism.

"It would be much worse than the Yugoslav wars, mainly because it has the old traditional element of an east-west confrontation.

"There is considerable sympathy for Georgia among western governments such as the US and London. It is clear that the Russians have fermented the separatist movement for a particular strategic purpose.

"There is also, however, an enormous amount of frustration with the reckless behaviour of the Georgian president at this moment."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/au ... ia.georgia
Russian troops and tanks pour into South Ossetia

Helen Womack in Moscow, Tom Parfitt in Vladikavkaz and Ian Black The Guardian, Saturday August 9 2008

Russia and Georgia were effectively at war last night after a festering conflict in the Caucasus plunged out of control following a Georgian military attempt to recover its breakaway region of South Ossetia.

Tanks and artillery from Russia's 58th army were in Tskhinvali, South Ossetia's capital, to prevent Georgian forces attacking Russian peacekeepers and civilians, the defence ministry in Moscow said.

Russian soldiers in the capital said their artillery had fired at Georgian forces - the first confirmed engagement between the two countries' troops, and the two sides were last night engaged in heavy fighting.

"Our peacekeepers are waging a fierce battle with regular forces from the Georgian army in the southern region of Tskhinvali," a Russian military spokesman told Interfax.

Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili said Russian tanks were rumbling into South Ossetia and Georgian officials said Russian jets had bombed three military bases and the Black Sea port of Poti.

"One hundred and fifty Russian tanks, armoured personnel carriers and other vehicles have entered South Ossetia. This is a clear intrusion. We have Russian tanks on our territory, jets on our territory in broad daylight," Saakashvili told a news conference. Tbilisi was planning to declare martial law, said Kakha Lomaia the secretary of Georgia's security council.

At the United Nations, Russian and Georgian envoys hurled accusations at each other, as a divided security council yesterday failed to agree on language calling for an end to the fighting, in a second emergency meeting in under 12 hours. The council finally broke off in a stalemate late last night, but plans to resume meeting this morning.

In Tskhinvali, the South Ossetian leader, Eduard Kokoity, claimed 1,400 civilians had been killed. There was no independent confirmation of his assertion, but witnesses said the city was devastated. Lyudmila Ostayeva, who had fled the city with her family, said: "I saw bodies lying on the streets, around ruined buildings, in cars. There is hardly a single building left undamaged."

There are fears of full-blown war in the region, which is a crucial energy transit route in which Russia and the west are vying for influence. President George Bush pledged US support for Georgia's territorial integrity and the US, EU and Nato called for an immediate ceasefire.

The Russian retaliation came swiftly after Georgian forces made an overnight assault on South Ossetia. The Russians were enraged that the Georgians had targeted their peacekeepers, killing more than 10 of them and injuring 30, according to the Russian defence ministry.

Saakashvili accused Russia of being the aggressor, but the assault seemed timed to coincide with today's launch of the Olympic games. "Most decision-makers have gone for the holidays," he told CNN. "Brilliant moment to attack a small country."

President Dmitry Medvedev chaired an emergency session of Russia's security council, after which he said: "My duty as Russian president is to safeguard the lives and dignity of Russian citizens, wherever they are ... We will not allow the deaths of our compatriots to go unpunished. Those guilty will receive due punishment."

Many people in South Ossetia and Georgia's other breakaway region, Abkhazia, have Russian citizenship. In Beijing, the Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, met Bush briefly and they agreed that nobody wanted war. But Putin said that "many Russian volunteers intended to go to South Ossetia and he said it was very difficult to maintain peace in the region", Interfax quoted the prime minister's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, as saying.

In neighbouring North Ossetia, which is part of the Russian Federation, hundreds of volunteer fighters were mobilising and units of armed Cossacks were poised to join the battle for Tskhinvali.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Deans » 09 Aug 2008 13:25

Igorr wrote:
Deans wrote:Interestingly the perception in the Russian press is that Georgia timed its `police action' in South Ossetia with the Olympics, to attract as little attention as possible. Their hope seemed to be that the US will deter any aggressive action by Russia.

A couple of thngs could happen:
- A million Georgians live in Russia. (the polupation of Gerogia being 4 million'ish). The
expulsion of Gerogians from Russia,along with an economic boycott, could well lead to
the collapse of Georgia's economy.
- Abkazia can be the next flash point.
Ethnic Georgians in Russia mostly have local citizenship and are loyal for Russian state. Also the Georgian economy is one big PO$, why the should come back? If somebody could be extradicted those only illegal migrants from Georgia.
This is the action of an active pacification, against the antidemocratic Saakashvili regime, who repressed its people, not against Georgian people.


Correct. I was referring to the expulsion of illegal migrants and guest workers from Russia.
That alone would be enough to seriously derail the Georgian economy and I doubt Uncle is
going to provide a bail out.

Philip has also made an interesting observation that there are 1000 odd US military `advisors' in Georgia.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby John Snow » 09 Aug 2008 17:24

Speciba Igror and Dobraye Utra (its morning here)

I think US is making strategic mistake of surrounding Russia in all fronts, and I think we again see the emegence of a multi polar world. Thanks to the oil money the Russian coffers are pretty well to the brim.

The way out for Russia is not in Iraq but Iran. Russia will expediate the nuclear co operation and also may sell missiles to defend Irans nuke installations. They make money that way too and can test out their equipment in real conditions.

Very very interesting times just when I was getting bored with J18 and 123. Also GOI inaction against Bdesh and Nepal as guruji had pointed out.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Singha » 09 Aug 2008 17:51

what georgia seems to have done is shell the ossetian capital with grad rockets mounted
on tracked chassis per photos I see.

grad rockets can easily devastate civilian areas.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Vick » 09 Aug 2008 18:16

Singha wrote:what georgia seems to have done is shell the ossetian capital with grad rockets mounted
on tracked chassis per photos I see.

grad rockets can easily devastate civilian areas.

Didn't Russia do the same to Grozny and worse?

Russia is apparently confirming 2 RuAF planes being shot down. Suspected to be a Su-25 and a Tu-22M.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Surya » 09 Aug 2008 18:35

So far so good - hopefully the Russians this time go about methodically dismantling Georgia.

Igor - can we have details of the 58th army - especially what numbers of professional troops.
The Georgians might try and send more weapons to the Chechens so Russia needs to carefully monitor that side.

It needs to impose a prohibitve cost on Georgia that they do not think of this stunt ever.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby ASPuar » 09 Aug 2008 18:50

From Kommersant:

http://www.kommersant.com/p1009149/r_1/ ... se_to_war/

Whatever the outcome of the forthcoming talks, it’s clear now: the international community will have to switch its attention from Abkhazia, which has become a favourite destination of several high-ranking diplomats proposing their own variants of settling the Georgia-Abkhaz dispute, to South Ossetia. The escalation of the situation in that breakaway republic can be regarded a warning to the West: you can expect a sudden war in Georgia – either with Abkhazia, or South Ossetia. And it happens at the moment when NATO considers giving Georgia the MAP in December.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Vick » 09 Aug 2008 18:53

Surya wrote:It needs to impose a prohibitve cost on Georgia that they do not think of this stunt ever.

AFAIK, Russia does not have any territorial claims on S. Ossetia. What is so wrong about Georgia trying to reintegrate its territories?

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby ASPuar » 09 Aug 2008 20:08

I would imagine that there is nothing wrong with it. But if they go about it by killing Russian "Peacekeepers", theyve got to expect a violent backlash.

I think Sakashvili has badly miscalculated. He should have mounted a sustained diplomatic offensive. In ordering this olympic sneak attack, he has made a mistake, and pushed his tiny country to the brink of war with a nation which can swat it aside with the use of even 1/1000th of its force.

His pathetic cries for help from the US are almost certainly going to fall on completely deaf ears, and the people who will bear the brunt of the punishment which is already on its way are the ordinary Georgians, unfortunately. He comes across as a brash media hound, who has not thought out his policies carefully. JMO.

I wont be surprised if he ends up "Accidentally" eating polonium. Or, if hes smart, running to the nearest US or Dutch (his wife is Dutch) embassy and requesting asylum.

The last fifteen years have been the first chance at any real freedom Georgia has had in two centuries. This guy Shakashvili should have been more careful in his dealings with the people who can make it all go away.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Raj » 09 Aug 2008 20:33

According to Russia Today channel on livestation.com Putin is in North Ossetia.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby ASPuar » 09 Aug 2008 20:37

So... Prince Vlad puts in an appearance. The end is nigh.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Igorr » 09 Aug 2008 20:58

Surya wrote:Igor - can we have details of the 58th army - especially what numbers of professional troops.
58th Army is mainly counter-insurgent forces but with prominent ground dimention. BTW its armor relitively outdated (T-72B1 and T-62M tanks) , they have no T-80U and T-90, as on China border and around Moscow, but the arty and infantry are well trained and took part in battles.
They have as follow parts:


58 Army stuff (Vladikavkaz, N.Ossetia)
19 motorized rifle div. (Vladikavkaz) Т-72

205 detached rifle brigade (Budenovsk, Stavropol area) Т-72
136 detached rifle brigade (Buynaksk, Stavropol area) Т-72
131 detached rifle brigade (Maykop, N.Osetia) Т-72
200 detached rifle brigade (Troitskoye) Т-72

42 motorized rifle div (Khankala, Kalinovskaya, Shali, Borzoi - Chechenya) Т-62
20 guardian motorized rifle (Volgograd, former Stalingrad) Т-72
428 detached tank battalion (Volgograd) Т-72
33 kossak regiment (Prudboy station, Volgograd reg) Т-72
33 detached mountain rifle briade (Botlikh, Dagestan)
34 detached mountain rifle brigade (Zelenchukskaya, Karachayevo-Cherkessia)

"Rus" spetz-naz

tactic and strategic aviation help for operation.

BTW, the air war is escalated, it's becoming more and more to the classic 'peace enforcement' operation from the Russian side: http://fotoplenka.ru/users/andche/421325/?page=2

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Raj » 09 Aug 2008 21:14

According to RT:
NATO military equipment vehicles are heading to South Ossetia.
Russian Defense minister/analysts says they are not waging war against Georgia.
Georgia declares martial law.
Putin in North Ossetia's capital Vladikavkaz to vist refugee camps. It is showing Putin deplaning in North Ossetia.
Russian Ambassador to Georgia says 2000 dead in Tskhinvale.
30,000 refugees arrive at Russian border.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby asprinzl » 09 Aug 2008 21:53

Politically I am on the Russian side in this crisis. Nato had sided with the Albanians in Kosovo and got them recognitioun. Why shouldn't the people of Ossetia be given their due recognition? US and Nato are seriously threaing on hypocrisy here.

However, in my opinion Russia seriously need the Georgians on her side if they want to completely eliminate Muslim problems from Ingushsetia, Chechnya to Tartarstan. Lots of Chechens and other assorted Muslim terrorists find safe heaven in Georgia and the Georgian authorities chose to ignore this fact. Georgians also belong the the Orthodox faith just as majority Russians. Russia and Georgia need to find a way to become friends. That is the only way to stop Nato in the Caucasus. The USA, Nato and Western Europe on the whole are massively panderers of Islam these days. Increased Nato presence in the caucasus would only empower the resurgence of Islamism there with the western influenced Multi-cultural bullcrap and human rights nonsense.

Turkey is slowly drifting towards Islamism and if Turkey fails, all hell would break loose. It will not be long before Azerbaijan falls too. Unless Georgia, Armenia, Ossetians etc come together and find a counter balance.

On the military operations looks like Russia carried out a third class military operation. Their planes missing some targets and getting shot down. What? What happened to all the military gizmos from Russian catalogs? Unavailable? Under performed? Not deployed? Russia knew this was coming. They had time to plan. They had most of Georgian telecomunications under surveillance despite Nato security sweeps. They also have lots of humint assets even in high places in Georgia. What happened?

BTW Ossetian language is very close to Persian.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Gerard » 09 Aug 2008 22:17

BBC news segment has the Georgian President on for 15 minutes. Played a 20 second clip of the Russian FM to balance things.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Anujan » 09 Aug 2008 22:22

Vick wrote:AFAIK, Russia does not have any territorial claims on S. Ossetia. What is so wrong about Georgia trying to reintegrate its territories?


There is no right or wrong when elephants shadow box.

Transcaucasia (Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan) was always a buffer state between Persia and the Bear. When there British were in India, Russians expanded southwards, towards Afghanistan and Transcaucasia. The British strengthened the Persian empire and created a buffer state in Afghanistan, so that the soviets dont expand towards the gulf through Iran or through Pakistan.

Right from that time, transcaucasia and afghanistan always had troubled history - with everybody and his uncle meddling with them (British, Iranians, Russians, Turkey)

Unkil now wants to play his version of the British game, trying to gain influence in Georgia by expanding NATO right to the Bear's lair. If you look at the Map, Unkil is already in Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan and (to some extent) Pakistan. Knocking at georgia's doors is a bit too close.

All these buffer states are doomed to similar fates....

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Shivani » 09 Aug 2008 22:26

I am disappointed by Russian response to this aggression. This was one of their known flashpoints and you would think that they would have doctrine in place to deal with it.

Russia cannot manage the logistics to orchestrate a 'shock & awe' spectacle half way around the world. But they should be able to do just that when the action is happening in their own yards.
I visualised that Russia would launch US style counter-attack with cruise missiles, fighters and bombers all targeting the hard infrastructure which would completely eliminate any airports, naval ports, army bases, power plants, supply depots and all other associated infrastructure that help sustain the will and ability to fight. Not to mention target key government officials and their offices.

What we have instead is Russia delivering an Indian style 'measured response' with a few bombs dropped and some tanks cruising aimlessly on already vacated streets. Pathetic.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Surya » 09 Aug 2008 22:56

Darn my post got lost somewhere
Vick

It is no longer a question of right.


Georgia has been a player for the EU\US (plus the support for Chechnya via pankisi) .. Now with the precedent set by Kosovo - time to screw the Georgians right back.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Singha » 09 Aug 2008 23:11

Bear always start fighting slow and clumsy. but has good staying power in the
ring. usually Bear remain standing when fight ends.

the vestiges of the atlanticists hounding Russian right
into her heartland by swallowing up the buffer states....
pandering openly to the chechen terrorists.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Singha » 09 Aug 2008 23:36

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/0 ... index.html

those tanks dont look obsolete to me. going by the width they are bigger than
T72. looks like T80 with active defence arena system.

NYT excerpt: going by the scale of ground movement, they must have got some
advance warning of the crisis, let the georgians walk into the monkey trap and then
pounced once it was established georgia started it first (imo)..kind of teach a lesson
plan


The Russian Defense Ministry said 100 planeloads of airborne troops would be brought to southern Russia and marched into the “zone of hostilities.” Georgian officials said at least 2,500 Russian troops were already in South Ossetia.

A column more than 60 miles long, with 650 armored vehicles, entered South Ossetia overnight, Russian television reported.

On Saturday, Russia notified Western governments that it was moving elements of its Black Sea fleet to Ochamchire, a small port in the disputed enclave, a senior Western official said.

A senior Georgian security official said that Russian ships were moving toward Georgia’s Black Sea Cost in order to land ground troops, and that 12 Russian jets were bombing the Kodori Gorge in Abkhazia, another breakaway region that hugs the Black Sea.

The de facto government of pro-Russian Abkhazia asked United Nations peacekeepers to depart from their posts in the Kodori Gorge, a small mountainous area that Georgia had reclaimed by force in 2006. The peacekeepers withdrew, and aerial bombardments of the gorge began soon after, the official said.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby vina » 09 Aug 2008 23:45

This entire thing is a massive tragedy. The last thing that Georgia or Russia needs is war. There are reports that 1500 people died today. And of course, most of them would be civilians , who had nothing to do with anything at all.

What the hell was that Saaksashvili guy thinking . That guy looks and sounds very Musharrafian to me. Try to use force against S Ossetia and Abkhazia was always going to invite Russian retaliation and it has come. And like every politico, he will run to Uncle Sam like Mushrraf will and leave the Georgian people holding the can with a devastated economy and massive casualties and infrastructure knocked back to the stone ages.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Rahul M » 09 Aug 2008 23:57

Shivani wrote:I am disappointed by Russian response to this aggression. This was one of their known flashpoints and you would think that they would have doctrine in place to deal with it.

Russia cannot manage the logistics to orchestrate a 'shock & awe' spectacle half way around the world. But they should be able to do just that when the action is happening in their own yards.
I visualised that Russia would launch US style counter-attack with cruise missiles, fighters and bombers all targeting the hard infrastructure which would completely eliminate any airports, naval ports, army bases, power plants, supply depots and all other associated infrastructure that help sustain the will and ability to fight. Not to mention target key government officials and their offices.

What we have instead is Russia delivering an Indian style 'measured response' with a few bombs dropped and some tanks cruising aimlessly on already vacated streets. Pathetic.

shivani, it does look like you are a bit misinformed.

the original "shock and awe" weapons are known in Russia as the Russian "Gods of war". they are being used liberally in this war and are mostly much more effective (as against flashy) than the effeminate cruise missiles !! :mrgreen:

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby rgosain » 10 Aug 2008 00:24

Very well put Vina. Saakashvilli seems to be cut from the same cloth as all those RAPES who routinely needle India, and then scream for "international mediation" when they are rebuked by force such as Kargil.

What Russia is doing is exercising its version of the Monroe doctrine by sending a clear message to Nato that Russia will impose a Kosovo-type solution on all those Nato proteges in its region.

There was talk some months ago of Russia abrogating the INF treaty which bans intermediate range missiles in Europe if ABM sites were deployed in Poland. This could have serious consequences for the viability of the MTCR which the West has relied upon to contain any wannabes.

What other options or cards are on the Russian table?

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby Shivani » 10 Aug 2008 01:04

Rahul M, artillery has its limitations. Because of limited range and slow deployment, you can predict where it's going to strike by observing the movement on the ground. Cruise and ballistic misslies alongwith large scale air raids carry a huge edge because of the swiftness and unpredictable nature of their strikes.
They leave little time to react, and require far more resources to defeat. Artillery also carries additional costs because it is not as precise as modern bombs or cruise missiles.

Artillery is desirable if you want to deliver collective punishment on a largely crippled and immobile enemy. It is great for sanitizing landmass by the square-kilometer, but only after the first strike has been delivered via Shock&Awe™ methods. Mercilessly. Viciously. Savagely.

The fact that most of Georgia's critical infrastructure remains untouched is evidence of poor Russian reponse. Only now have reports started coming in that RU are conducting more air-raids. All this infrastructure should have been dismantled by yesterday.

We can discuss whether this measured response is due to incompetent officers, dysfunctional chain of command, inferior equipment, or some combination thence. Here in India we're kinda fond of the 'Intelligence failure' excuse. And the fact remains: the Russian weakness has been duly noted by all concerned.

If there was one conflict that Russia should have prepared for, this was it. And in its military response Russia should have demonstrated its capabilities in a manner that left no doubt in the minds of other powers that there is some strength to back up all the posturing Putin&Co. so like to indulge in. This 'war' should have been over by now.

Of course they'll prevail in the skirmish, but they just failed the real test. All that the Russians could show was that militarily they are still stuck in 1970s.

So, once again, pathetic. Did I compare this to Indian response? Sorry, that was *so* wrong.

This looks like a Pakistani Army operation. They march in a certain territory with armoured vehicles after the AQ tribals are done looting, and then promptly declare 'victory'. Image

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby SRoy » 10 Aug 2008 01:21

Duplicate
Last edited by SRoy on 10 Aug 2008 01:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Caucasus Crisis-Cold War 2?

Postby SRoy » 10 Aug 2008 01:26

Shivani wrote:Rahul M, artillery has its limitations. Because of limited range and slow deployment, you can predict where it's going to strike by observing the movement on the ground. Cruise and ballistic misslies alongwith large scale air raids carry a huge edge because of the swiftness and unpredictable nature of their strikes.
They leave little time to react, and require far more resources to defeat. Artillery also carries additional costs because it is not as precise as modern bombs or cruise missiles.

Artillery is desirable if you want to deliver collective punishment on a largely crippled and immobile enemy. It is great for sanitizing landmass by the square-kilometer, but only after the first strike has been delivered via Shock&Awe™ methods. Mercilessly. Viciously. Savagely.

Massed artillery offensive is a proven Russian tactic (assuming they are complemented by their infantry here to gain the ground quickly). It is not a mopping up operation rather an opening salvo. This was very effective in Battle of Kursk (Op Citadel). The opposing Whermacht formations were neither crippled nor immobile (some of the finest SS panzer divisons were leading the charge).
Shock and Awe tactics will not suffice here. Could be old tactics, but here you need to hold the ground (keeping with slow infantry...air campaign cannot be sustained for so long). Material losses in an air campaign will be high vis-a-vis cost.
Last edited by SRoy on 10 Aug 2008 01:50, edited 1 time in total.


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