Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Russian-Georigan Conflict: Behind The Scenes

I have no doubt that most people have heard about the Russian invasion of Georgia. The 'official' reason for the Russian invasion has been said to help South Ossetia (a state that recently split away from Georgia, and which would like to join Russia) repel Georgian forces who invaded to take back control of the area.

The part that has garnered much international attention to be focused on Russia is that even though there has been a ceasefire negotiated between Georiga and Russia, Russian forces are not evacuating Georgian territory, instead they are increasing their presence under the guise of peace-keeping. I think that Russia's official reasons for invading Georgia are a clever excuse. Russia is a semi-major influence on the Asian continent, and what do most powers want to do? They want to retain the equilibrium of power on the continent. It has been this way since even before World War II.

If you carefully take a look at a map of the Middle East you will notice some interesting things.

What I notice when I look at this map is that Iraq and Iran are very close to Georgia. Internationally Iran is now viewed as a loose-canon, to say the least, but even more importantly U.S. controlled Iraq is very close to Georgia. As far back as the days of the British Colonial Empire, major powers have wanted to keep other major powers at a distance (if at all possible). I see this as a possible reason why Russia has decided now to invade Georgia. If Russia controls the Georgian state then they have a buffer between themselves, Iraq and Iran.

Another important aspect to look at is the fact that a major gas-pipeline runs through Georgia. If you take a close look at this map, and then take a look at an excellent article by Michael Economides' on Energy Tribune, you will notice that an important pipeline that runs through Georgia. The scramble for oil is well on its way, and Russia is most certainly not being left behind in the dust.

Although, there can be no definitive answer to the question: Why did Russia invade Georgia? The evidence is leaning towards protection and oil as the incentives. With Russian-U.S. relations at a relative low over the Polish agreement, and Georgia being a 'roadblock' to Russian oil production expansion, it seems very plausible that this invasion was not over nationalism.


The Commentator said...

DC, that's exactly why they did it in my opinion - as a buffer. The Soviet Union collected all their satellites as a buffer against the West back in the day and they're doing the same here. And I agree it also has to do with the pipeline.

BUT Georgia WERE the instigators and in doing so gave Russia a geopolitical gift.

DC said...

Yes, I agree that Georgia appears to be the instigator, but I have read that this has been wrongly reported. Just read this:

I cannot say which story is correct, it seems that there is a lack of clarity on the situation. I still maintain, like yourself, that Russia is trying to use Russia as a buffer, and to make sure the gas pipeline is operating the way Russia wants.