Passing anecdotes and thoughts on politics, history, lit, sports or whatever...

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Chechnya and Georgia

Perhaps I glossed over the American role in the Republic of Georgia? I know you caught that and thought, how can I trust him again. Well in a desperate attempt to redeem myself, I return to Georgia. The former president of Georgia, Shevardnadze, had to confront two breakaway regions in his country: South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Both of these uprisings were supported by the Russians. The Abkhazians were resisting the Georgification of Georgia following the fall of the Soviets and their subsequent independence. Supporting these movements did not endear the Russians to the Georgians and Shevardnadze. There were also requests at the time to remove Russian troops from Georgia completely.

The Georgians paid the Russians back by allowing the Chechens to run guns from Georgia to Chechnya to fight for their independence. It was well known that hired mujadeen fighters from the Bosnian War were now fighting in Chechnya as well. Oddly, Clinton was on the move against right wing jihadis, but ignored the Chechens. I have even read accounts that the USA supports the Chechens, but am not sure of their veracity. The reasoning would be to extract oil facilities in Grozny from Russian hands. To ignore the Chechens is odd as they have committed at least as many terrorist attacks as Al-Qaeda. It is the goal of the USA to dominate this oil, as it is with the Middle East. Even if it does not use the oil itself, it would hold a trump card in negotiating with future world powers such as China and India.

The Americans were in a tough spot when they wanted to invade Afghanistan. They did not have a place to build up troops, not the time to really do it. They had to invade before the winter of 2001. We needed the Russians to give us the ok to use Central Asian airfields from which to bomb. Moreover, since we could not insert a sufficient force in that time, we needed contacts in the Northern Alliance; we were to use them as a proxy force. The Uzbeks and Tajiks that supplied much of the the army were aligned with the Russians.

The Russians would give us the nod to use their air bases and would put us in touch with the leaders of the Northern Alliance in exchange for the USA to stop criticizing the Russian position and actions toward Chechnya and to stop the gun running between Georgia and Chechnya. Us forces were introduced and coincidentally, Shevardnadze soon fell out of power.


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