Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Christopher King

Kaitlin Mondello


September 15, 2008

The Russian Invasion of Georgia


Are we about to enter another cold war?  On August eighth two thousand eight the Russian army invaded the Georgian rebel province of South Ossetia. The event was a well-orchestrated maneuver on a former Soviet satellite state whose good standings with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, the United States in particular could be perceived as a threat. Soviet forces consisted of around one hundred and fifty tanks with supporting infantry and air strikes. While American newscasters have played up the conflict between Russia and Georgia as the malevolence of a post communist country, it was in truth the strategic move of a world power to secure its borders.    

In 2003 the former soviet satellite state experienced a nonviolent coup, the “Rose

Revolution” (Sywenkyj) which resulted in the empowerment of the current president and strong pro-west ties. The resulting ally with the west being right at Russia’s back door lead to uneasy tensions between the two countries. As history has shown us the Russian’s, as have all superpowers, are concerned with the political alignment of their neighbors. 

            Robert Magginis is a retired army lieutenant and senior strategist with the United States army.  In addition he is a foreign affairs analyst for radio and television.  The following excerpts are from an article he posted on Humanevents.com:

In 1920, South Ossetia attempted to declare its independence from Georgia. At the time, the Red Army invaded Georgia to declare the region autonomous… In the late 1980s, the South Ossetian Popular Front was created in response to growing nationalist sentiments in Georgia. The popular front demanded autonomy from Georgia. This precipitated six months of armed conflict that ended with the signing of the Sochi Agreement. That document established a cease-fire and a security corridor policed by “peacekeeping” forces under Russian command.” (Magginis)

The “Rose Revolution” (Sywenkyj) that followed this long list of events was a threat to the status quo that had for so long ensured the Russian borders were safe from invasion. With Georgia’s newfound disdain for Russia they were left with no choice but to take action.  Their invasion of South Ossetia, who wished for independence from Georgia, anyway allowed them to make a statement to the world.  We will not permit NATO to gain a foothold at our back door and we will protect Russians around the world (like those in South Ossetia). “Keeping Georgia in a constant state of conflict is intended to show Washington and Brussels that the small republic is too unstable for membership and to force Tbilisi back under the Kremlin’s heel. Unless NATO acts to defend Georgia, no more former satellites will ask to join.” (Magginis)

While America shuns the actions, which have taken place here, they themselves are guilty of such aggressions in the past. It’s because of such aggressions, currently involving Iraq and Afghanistan, that the president is reluctant to involve itself in the conflict. “On Friday, President Saakashvili called on the US to live up to its principles and defend Georgia’s democracy. So far, the US has only sent a diplomat to Tiblisi,” (Magginis)

The Russian invasion of Georgia was a power play that was justified by the disruption of the status quo by Georgia’s political realignment after the Rose Revolution. America condemns such actions but can’t assist their supposed ally due to being bogged down in similar actions. There are certain points throughout history when a display of force is needed to prevent larger conflicts. Examples of this can be seen in America’s containment policy after world war two, Russian satellite states from the same period, and now arguably in America’s war on terrorism and Russia’s conflicts in Georgia.





















Magginis, Robert. "Russian Invasion of Georgia is an East-West Tipping Point." 8 August 2008. Human Events. 14 September 2008 .


Sywenkyj, Joseph. "New York Times." 8 August 2008. Ny Times. 14 September 2008 





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