Americans displeased at the condition of Georgian army19.12.2008 | 18:29
In autumn a group of American war experts made an evaluation of combat condition of the Georgian army for the USA military authority concluding that the Georgian army remained "immature" and "ill-prepared". It is stated in the final report presented by the group.
It goes without saying that this document is confidential. But The New York Times somehow managed to get an extract from it that was obtained as the editorial office confesses from "a person concerned about low combat capability of the Georgian armed forces".
The war experts directly say that over 10 years of training under the supervision of the American instructors and almost 5 years of abundant funding from overseas have not mended the situation.
"In 2004 Saakashvili received an army in a disastrous condition, the newspaper reminds. He acquired new equipment, scaled up wages, began close cooperation with Pentagon. The army modernization in Georgia was considered a great achievement of the new leaders. The events of last August and the new report cast some doubt on this optimistic judgment", - "Inopressa.ru" is quoting the authors of the article.
There is excessive bureaucratization, predisposition to impulsive decision taking, "old boy network" at appointment of generalship. Moreover Georgia has elaborated neither an adequate national security doctrine nor the system of confidential information access yet.
A week before the publication in the New York Times a new military minister was appointed in Georgia. David Kezareshvili was replaced by David Sikharulidze. The new minister stated:
"The Georgian Armed Forces consist of well-educated and trained officers that are the army's backbone that is why there is no need in fundamental personnel shifts". Today Georgia is armed with the world-best M-4 submachine guns, the new armor and artillery that conform to NATO standards have already arrived.
President Saakashvili went on with this topic. The country is carrying out total upgrade of the aviation equipment, - he stated emphasizing that the Georgian armed forces are first in the post-Soviet space to switch over to the Western armament on such a scale and so quickly.
According to Russian war experts the "Western armament" does not necessarily mean "armament of quality". It all depends on a manufacturer and the way the arms and ammunition are completed and combined.
Following the August events, NewsInfo writes, the Russian war specialists conducted an examination of the arms used by the Georgian army. It turned out that the service ammunition, small arms, body armors and other military ammunition belonged to different manufacturers with different characteristics. According to the experts such arms are good enough for policemen as it is useless to apply them for a distance over 100 m.
It is not impossible that the Americans only appropriated the funds and the Georgian side held a tender and those who offered lowest prices won, Newinfo thinks.
One way or another the American war specialists considered preparation of the Georgian army non-compliant with the Western standards. A high-ranking source from Washington, as the New York Times writes, reported that very serious deficiencies had been revealed and Georgia with its Western partners should decide what to do next.
"We have performed an important task, - the source noted, - and said: you have to know that you need some changes if you want to have a professional army".