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Basic training of the Georgian peacemakers

2009-09-01 20:12

In Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the return of the American instructors to Georgia was treated cautiously. As Head of the Abkhazian MFA Sergey Shamba underlined, the people of the young republic do not believe that the training of the Georgian servicemen performed by the American marines is done purely for their actions in Afghanistan. "We have already been told earlier that the Georgian army is trained not for any offensive operations, or a war against the neighbors; still, we saw what actually happened last August, - the diplomat said. - That is why we are not apt to believe such kind of statements". According to Shamba, the training and arming of the Georgian army will, anyway, contribute to developing a militaristic attitude in the Georgia soldiers, which

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is again going "to push Georgia towards aggressive actions", while America's support gives Saakashvili "confidence in his own impunity".

Neither did Sukhum and Tskhinval draw any optimism from the revelations of the now former Minister of Defense of Georgia David Sikharulidze, who simply shocked the Pentagon with his interview given to the Associated Press agency. The unlucky minister stated that making the contingent part of the allied forces in Afghanistan will help the soldiers "obtain the skills that are necessary to "repel the probable Russian aggression". Perhaps, this unguarded remark became one of the reasons why Sikharulidze lost his post. His successor and former deputy, the 29-year-old Bacho Akhalaya has already promised to increase the defense capacity and continue the improvement of the army. Nevertheless, the opposition was totally opposed to Akhalaya's assignment, having attributed it to the fact that now Ministry of Defense may simply merge with MIA.

It is a curious fact that the opposition does not only criticize the politicization of the army but also Mikhail Saakashvili's Afghan plan. The Laborites' emotional leader Shalva Natelashvili has openly stated that he does not share the delight in respect of sending the soldiers to Afghanistan. "I recommend that the West should first make Saakashvili implement democratic reforms and hold fair election, - the parliamentarian is quoted by The News Time. - And then, let the democratically elected government decide where to send the troops and whether one really has to make a sacrifice of our boys for the sake of a progress somewhere".

The fact is that Mikhail Nikolaevitch's initiative is accepted only in Washington and in the minds of the Georgian hirelings, for whom a mission in Afghanistan is an opportunity to distinguish themselves. The only thing is that the Georgian guys will have to fight for democracy in Asia not by being in charge at some check point as it was in Iraq but in real warfare, and the two-month training may really turn to be insufficient.

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