Pentagon Aims to Rebuild Georgian, Other Forces

Hopes Eastern European Militaries Can Fight in Afghanistan

by Jason Ditz, March 28, 2010

The United States is forever looking for additional allies to send troops as part of its escalations into Afghanistan, and with the traditional NATO allies balking amid popular unrest the Pentagon seems to have reached a conclusion: if we can’t find allied militaries we’ll create them.

Enter the Republic of Georgia, the nation that eagerly took part in the US occupation of Iraq. They had to abandon that war in August 2008 to fight a brief war with Russia. While that war does not appear to have exhausted the Georgian government’s willingness to fight, it did destroy their military nearly in its entirety.

This is nothing the Pentagon believes it cannot solve with increased military aid however, and they have informed Congres that they intend to build the military capabilities of Georgia and several other minor powers in eastern Europe with an eye toward conducting “operations alongside US forces in Afghanistan.”

Yet nothing comes without a cost, and while the financial cost will be borne by the US taxpayers, the artificial increases in the sizes of these militaries could have serious ramifications on those nations and the surrounding area. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Georgia, where the last US-built military attempted to seize South Ossetia militarily, sparking the aforementioned war with Russia. Georgian President Saakashvili remains keen to reclaim South Ossetia and Abkhazia by any means possible, and even if in the near-term that military is going to be used in Afghanistan, its long-term ambitions remain with the now-independent enclaves to their north.

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