Well look what the cat dragged out..American troops training with Georgian troops
it pays to browse and dig a bit deeper. Emptywheel discusses American hypocrisy as Bush acts as if no one could have predicted the severe Russian repercussions;
"As I said, I think the presumed spin is designed to excuse US inaction in the face of an utter lack of means to respond to Russia.But I do think there was an element of true surprise on the part of the US. From Landay:
At the same time, U.S. officials said that they believed they had an understanding with Russia that any response to Georgian military action would be limited to South Ossetia.
"We knew they were going to go crack heads. We told them again and again not to do this," the State Department official said. "We thought we had an understanding with the Russians that any response would be South Ossetia-focused. Clearly it's not.""
how could anyone have missed this WIRED article Did the U.S. Prep Georgia for War with Russia?
"...just the prospect of a larger regional war that could drag in Russia – and involve the United States as well. Since early 2002, the U.S. government has given a healthy amount of military aid to Georgia. When I last visited South Ossetia, Georgian troops manned a checkpoint outside Tskhinvali -- decked out in surplus U.S. Army uniforms and new body armor.
The first U.S. aid came under the rubric of the Georgia Train and Equip Program (ostensibly to counter alleged Al Qaeda influence in the Pankisi Gorge); then, under the Sustainment and Stability Operations Program. Georgia returned the favor, committing thousands of troops to the multi-national coalition in Iraq. Last fall, the Georgians doubled their contingent, making them the third-largest contributor to the coalition. Not bad for a nation of 4.6 million people."
And how about this, American troops training alongside Georgian troops until a few days before Georgia attacks Ossetia?
July 15-31, USA and Georgian Armed Forces conduct "Immediate Response 2008"
"The SETAF Brigadier General William B. Garrett commanded the exercise from American side. We asked him for his thoughts and comments on Immediate Response.
What is the primary aim of the exercise “Immediate Response 2008”? What are the objectives of the exercise?
We are conducting this exercise to enhance interoperability with a key coalition partner. Georgia has provided consistent support to ongoing operations in Iraq. Georgia is the third largest force contributor to Operation Iraqi Freedom and that means a lot to the United States.
What do you expect from “Immediate Response 2008”?
The combined approach – active participation from all the countries involved – provided an invaluable opportunity to learn about different cultures, and to promote understanding and cooperation between our forces and strengthen our partnerships for the future.
What benefits will this exercise bring for the Georgian Armed Forces?
The Georgian Armed Forces will gain greater tactical proficiency as well as improving their ability to work with coalition partners. But the benefits gained from this exercise are not limited to Georgian Soldiers. American, Armenian, Azeri and Ukrainian service members all benefited from this exercise. I might also point out that the Georgian 4th Infantry Brigade is scheduled to deploy to Iraq next year. The tough, realistic training provided during Immediate Response 2008 will certainly help them prepare for that deployment."
So to reiterate, just after the American troops left, Georgian troops attacked Ossetia. Hmm. Interesting was also one of the commenters on Emptywheels' post;
So, if the US thought it would be a mistake for the Georgians to launch an offensive, and even went to far as to seek assurances that the Russians would not respond beyond a certain point, why would the US cooperate in joint war games?(underlining and bold added by yours truly)
War games are not just “training,” they are meant as warnings, even provocations, and anyone with a brain (or without one) would have understood this to be a provocation, given the tense situation.
The military spin to Landay is not just “who would have guessed,” its a coverup for Bush administration’s reckless provocation.
1. What did they think would happen?
2. How much did they tell McCain in advance — after all, he went out of his way to be “prescient” about this, so that Broder would notice.
3. Since they knew Georgia’s leaders were anxious to attack, why did they provide the training to do this.
4. Was this a huge set up? And for what purpose?
Since this could only end in a massive Russian smackdown, they only one who might benefit would be McCain, but only if the facts didn’t come out.
What do you think?
Another commenter said this;
This explains why so many Georgians were asking “where are the Americans?” in yesterday’s NYT article. It wasn’t just Bush welcoming their application to NATO, it was the US training to fight along side the Georgians
Well, and the devil went down to Georgia..