On the Georgia-Russia War

Aleqm5hobkjd6zhazwwvobplkfvytfjpaa Over at The Duck of Minerva, Dan Nexon on this new war:

The Georgians, perhaps starting to recognize the degree of their miscalculation, are calling for a cease fire. Meanwhile, Bush and Putin have met in Beijing to discuss the conflict; and countries from all over the world (including Iran) are calling on both parties to cease fighting.

Georgia now wants to bring all of its forces back from Iraq and, as Fester predicted, has asked the US to help with the effort. The US has agreed to do so.

Ingo Mannteufel of Deutsche Welle does a good job of describing the intense propaganda war surrounding the conflict. For an example, the Armenian News Agency reports:

Gaining the maps of Georgian military, Russian peacekeepers got evidence that military operation in South Ossetia was not abrupt. The attack was planned scrupulously.

This afternoon, units of the 58th army freed Tskhinvali. Battles are going on along the responsibility zone of the Russian peacekeeping contingent, land forces commander Vladimir Boldyrev said.

Wounded are being evacuated. Special forces are sent to Tskhinvali. Landing and assault battalions of the 76 Pskov division entered the South Ossetian capital, Vesti reports.

Recall that Armenia is a Russian client state.

Doug Merrill reports that the situation in Tbilisi remains mostly normal; Wu Wei is trying to get out, and not succeeding.

A few points of analysis.

I don’t think there can be any doubt at this point that the Russians were well-prepared for a Georgian offensive. What remains obscure is whether their quick and overwhelming response demonstrates that the Kremlin was trying to provoke Georgia into providing them with a pretext to attack, or because they operated on the reasonable assumption that they needed to be ready in the event of a Georgian offensive against one of the breakaway regions.