Threatening Russia? Military Exercises in the Caucasus and NATO’s Hypocrisy

“NATO – kindergarten of the XXI Century”

One of the most popular topics in the Georgian media is the Caucasus-2012 strategic command staff maneuvers, which started on September 17, 2012.

The Georgian media regularly publish articles and broadcast discussions associated with these maneuvers. The main objective of these broadcasts is to suggest the idea to Georgia and the international community that after similar maneuvers in 2008 Georgia became involved in a war with Russia and lost 20% of its original territory occupied by Moscow.

The fact that in August 2008 it was the Georgian army which attacked Russian peacekeepers who had been serving in accordance with the interstate Dagomys agreement, and it was Georgia which tried to wipe the South Ossetian capital together with its inhabitants off the map, has not been even indirectly mentioned in the Georgian media.

Last week NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen did not fail to speak on the beginning of the maneuvers in an interview to the Euro-News channel. He expressed regret that Brussels “had not received any official information from Russia” about these maneuvers, their goals and their venue.

This point of view has caused at least regret and confusion, as Russia for a long period of time has been demonstrating its openness to cooperate in various fields of international activity, and the Transcaucasian region holds a special place in this regrads.

Thus, in December 2011 Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces General Nikolai Makarov convened a briefing of foreign military attaches in Moscow. The briefing was also attended by representatives of NATO, including from the NATO Moscow Bureau for Relations with the Russian Defense Ministry.

Makarov spoke in detail about the objectives of the Caucasus-2012 maneuvers, their venue, the numerical strength and the weapons involved in the maneuvers.

Other officials of the Russian Defense Ministry, including the Commander of the Land Forces of Russia, Colonel General Vladimir Chirkov, and First Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Colonel General Alexander Postnikov, were also repeatedly telling at press conferences about the planned maneuvers.

Any sensible man would not believe that the head of a military organization like NATO did not know about the objectives, venue, time, forces and weapons, or is the alliance led by someone else?

All this leads one to believe that Anders Fogh Rasmussen, to put it mildly, is cunning or is deliberately aggravating the situation in the region.

Maybe the fact is that the head of NATO was simply childishly offended that he had not been invited to these maneuvers as an honored guest. In accordance with international law, Russia has violated nothing, as the NATO-Russia Basic Act of 1997 states that the parties are notified officially if the numerical strength exceeds more than 10 thousand servicemen (in the Caucasus-2012 maneuvers there are eight  thousand military personnel involved), and the maneuvers will be conducted not only away from the borders of the NATO countries, but at a distance of 200 km from the border of Georgia.

At the same time, it should be noted that conducting maneuvers directly at the Russian border in the territory of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, NATO has never invited Russian military observers.

Edited by Rick Rozoff

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