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Military games2010-01-22 09:37
The Georgian officials say very interesting things sometimes. For instance, today, Minister of Finance of Georgia Kakha Baindurashvili stated that in 2010 the share of expenses spent on military needs will not be increased and, moreover, in percentage terms, the share of the defense expenditures in the country budget will be lowered. Sounds surprisingly, considering the statement made by President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili before the New Year about the general plans of reservists' preparation within 2010-2014. It is obvious that if the military budget is left at the current level, the current army expenditure will be significantly reduced, so long as the training centers for
reservists, as well as the purchasing of arms require sound financial inflow. Thus, the Georgian army is going to see no modernization promised after the August war. No use mentioning the possible difficulties with the salaries paid to the soldiers and officers.
One is apt to make an obvious conclusion that there is going to be no real preparation of any reserve, for Saakashvili will hardly put the loyalty of his army at risk. Besides, one should not forget the fact that after the Georgian-Ossetian conflict, Georgia has been facing serious problems with the military assistance from the western partners: the promised supplies needed for the restoration of the army fighting capacity were mostly left on paper. Mind that the West has allocated $4,5 bln to Georgia until 2012 for the recovery after the August 2008military actions. These means became a kind of an "airbag" that softened the reduction of the country economy by 4% last year. The money enabled Georgia to escape the financial gap during the first year of the crisis. It is obvious that the credit will run out sooner or later, that is why Baindurashvili announced his plans related to the selling of the rights for the building of the Black Sea port in Anaklia and the realization of a number of projects in hydraulic power engineering and the full-scale privatization of the state property. It is assumed that all these measures will bring about $3 bln to the budget of Georgia.
However, let us come back to the issue of the Georgian military budget. In consequence of the August conflict, the republican army was seriously weakened. The greater part of the battle-ready units suffered serious losses in manpower and equipment. By the way, as to the equipment, one should not forget the fact that in the course of the military actions, Georgia has lost a significant number of armor and armored fighting vehicles, and the budget never implied purchasing so much new armor. Thus, within the last year, the army has been practically recovering by way of training the arriving replacement. Nevertheless, the comprehensive technical provision of the units was never discussed, for the USA, which had promised the military "humanitarian" help, were too much busy with the problem of overcoming the crisis to spend money on arming the Transcaucasia. In other words, one may say that by the beginning of 2010 the Georgian army was still weak.