Thursday, August 14, 2008

American Military To Prevent Coup in Georgia?

There has been much talk of the aid being given to the Georgians in the wake of their folly a week ago. Which begs a few questions. Are the Americans providing aid for purely altruistic reasons? Doubtful. Are they sending a message to the Russian government? Certainly. Or are the Americans truly scared that Saakashvili will topple as a result of his humiliation in Georgia and are trying to pre-empt any attempts to overthrow this 'vital ally'? I would say almost definitely.

Saakashvili is certainly in a very precarious position at the moment. His poll ratings were already falling quite dramatically before this latest crisis, mainly due to his preference for sending armed police to disrupt any demonstrations against his rule. His utter failure to complete that which he had pledged (the unification of all parts of Georgia), ensures that even his staunchest supporters must be wavering right now. And that will come as a real concern to a White House that sees this part of the world as strategically vital to US ambitions globally. The toppling of a pro-American leader in this region could have massive implications for the US, not least in relation to the Missile Defence program.

Georgia is one of the countries muted to be a base for these so-called 'defensive' weapons, which is why the US has been so keen to push the case for their membership of NATO. The removal of a leader keen to bend to the wishes of the US would ensure that the 'missile shield' would not receive Georgian approval - a particular problem given the proximity of Georgia to Iran (the supposed target of the 'missile shield'). And with Poland now keen to sign up to missile bases on their territory, the US will be eager to get other allies on board as soon as possible. And what better way to ensure that there is no immediate likelihood of their prized possession in the region coming to harm than to send US troops into the region to provide 'aid'? No doubt the Georgian people will think twice about rising up against Saakashvili as long as they have a superpower paying a 'friendly' visit. Only a few days ago the Georgian leader was talking of Russian occupation in one of his more fantastical pronouncements. There certainly appears to be an occupation, but it is not Russian.