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Russia and Georgia Ready For War

By Guest Contributor, Craig Martelle | April 21, 2006

I had not been keeping up on Russia as there is far too much going on in the Middle East (where we are winning the war in Iraq, by the way). But Russia and Georgia are on the verge of a shooting war. First, Russia banned Georgian wines! Having lived in Russia for two years, I can tell you that Georgian wines were delicacies, right next to Moldovan wines (which are also embargoed, it seems). We still have a couple untapped bottles of Georgian wine in the rack. And Georgian food is some of the best on the planet - surprising that Georgian restaurants aren't everywhere. They have food that appeals to the American palate - baked cheese bread!

In any case, Russia is banning certain imports from Georgia. Russia has also been conducting operations into Georgia against so-called insurgents since the breakup of the Soviet Union. I guess it has gone too far - near and dear to my heart, Georgia is filing a lawsuit for damages against Russia! Jurisdiction will probably be an issue along with finding a court that isn't biased...

And no matter what, the U.S. should not interfere in Russian domestic issues. Russian internal domestic affairs have an ugly way of spilling over to the rest of the world - look at Russian involvement in Iran, Russian support for Hamas, and Russian agreements with China (not found in Russian papers, but located in western sources).

Russia is not working well with its neighbors. Russia wants to get back to a position at the top of the hill. Putin has not been kind to the democratic process. He has disbanded parliament and he has increased his own powers.

This is the first in a series of articles that will show how Russia has reasserted itself, the future in the old Soviet model, with new players and titles. The Soviet proxy war has begun afresh - through Iran and through Hamas. Who is really pulling the strings in these cases? The Russians have no love for Islamists - look at Chechnya. But the Russians also have no love for us. My first rule - the enemy of my enemy fits in quite nicely here and will be reiterated throughout the series.

Craig Martelle, founder of The Strategic Outlook Institute, is a retired Marine Corps Intelligence Officer who entered military service as an enlisted Marine in 1982. He earned a BA in Russian Language at the University of Arizona and is currently a second-year law student at William Howard Taft University. ThreatsWatch is pleased to welcome Craig Martelle and introduce him as our newest contributor.


U.S. Marine-Led Task Force Trains Republic of Georgia Soldiers

I have a Georgian buddy. Warriors. Like Americans. Don't like Russians and Persians. Good people to have on our side.

Craig, with all due respect to historical analogies you have invoked, I don't think that those disagreements qualify as a proxy war. Disagreements are bound to erupt in questions of global security and unlike culinary choices we cannot refer to ignorance as a way of getting things done.

Responding to Cannoneer. Georgians are fighters. They fought along with Russians, Ukranians, Jews, and many other folks to defeat Nazi Germany in WWII. But where is this "like Americans" come from? Care to name a single war won by the U.S. military without dropping nukes on civilians?

I'm not aware of parliament being disbanded by Putin. Did you mean the Governors of each region?

Putin has the authority to disband parliament, although he has not, he has threatened to use that in order to get votes to go his way. (http://www.cdi.org/russia/johnson/9126-9.cfm) for reference. Putin has disbanded institutions he did not like, such as the Pardon Commission. And he laid waste to the governors - they really aren't independently elected anymore. Putin must approve who runs - doesn't sound like democracy to me. And regarding a proxy war - when one nation invokes another to fight a battle where the first nation would be the primary victor, then that's a proxy war. If Iran fights Israel with the U.S. coming in and the U.S. is weakened because of it (Iran will be knocked down a few notches, too), then Russia climbs higher in its desire to become a global superpower once again.