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Open Democracy article: wikileaks, South Ossetia-Russia reset, concerning August war details

Prepared by Teona Akubardia

The fact that Georgia did not expect such active interference by Russia with the South Ossetia military operation is explained by the fact Georgia has at that time cut down the intelligence expenses and by blind trust to Americans. “Such blindness played significant role in the making of the in fact suicidal decision of bombing Tskhinvali”, is said in the article and is stressed that considering the fact that Georgia took significant role in the Iraq coalition it is not surprising that it believed that the ally super-country deceived it.

According to the article despite the accusations from Russia that the events were supervised by Washington, initiating start of war by Georgia, the USA was still against any such initiative. Wikileaks articles show that the US Embassy in Tbilisi and the US Department of State were in the same informational vacuum as all the others before the start of military actions.

Military Academy of Georgia to become NATO Regional Training Centre

Information Agency Pirveli

Military Academy of Georgia will become the regional training centre of NATO in the nearest future, Georgian Minister of State for European and Euro-Atlantic Structures Integration Giorgi Baramidze told Moskovskie Novosti.

“We are ready to increase the manpower in Afghanistan. When it will happen must be decided by NATO. We can also offer our centers for training Afghani solders and policemen, namely the Sachkhere Military Base, which has already been recognized by NATO in framework of the Partnership for Peace program. Military Academy of Georgia will also be announced as the regional training center of NATO in the nearest future. We will also sent instructors to Afghanistan,” Baramidze said.

Azerbaijan: Baku Plans to Become Regional Arms Seller

April 7, 2011

Article for the website: http://foreignpress.ge/?p=16943

Shahin Abasov

Azerbaijan, having high revenues from energy resources’ export, plans to launch manufacture of the Israeli construction spy-planes. Local analysts claim the given plan is aimed for Baku to become serious exporter of arms in the South Caucasus, Central Asia and Middle East.

The unmanned spy-plane Obiter-2M patented in Israel can stay at the height of four-six kilometers up in the air for approximately five hours. The second model – Aerosta can fly 12 hours at the height of 10 kilometers. Both planes are planned to be manufactured by the State company AZAD Systems in Baku suburbs.

Azerbaijan made unmanned planes are to be tested during two years. In case of approval the manufacture will start in 2013. According to the editor-in-chief of the news agency Mil.az Jasur Sumerinli, Azerbaijan is already using ten unmanned planes manufactured in Israel.

The given initiative is one of the most important components of the Azerbaijan attempt to resume control over the self-proclaimed Nagorny-Karabakh. “Having such planes is significantly important for having military superiority over Armenia”, Azerbaijan army retired Colonel Uzeur Jafarov. “In case of resumption of the armed conflict the spy-planes will allow to determine the point of concentration, training level and quantity of enemy forces”.

There are also other motives. Azerbaijan government is interested in the Israeli arms also because “Russia, Europe and the USA mainly ignore the military needs of the country because of the Karabakh conflict”, is said in the letter posted at the wikileaks website recently and which was allegedly prepared by the US Embassy in Baku in 2009.

Azerbaijani diplomats and military leaders told the EurasiaNet.org that Baku aims at higher independence in view of arms. The military strategists in Azerbaijan are mainly concerned with the fact that in case of resumption of the military conflict between Baku and Yerevan, because of Karabakh problem the supply of arms from Russia and/or West may be suspended.

Baku also plans to receive income from export. If the Azerbaijan-Israel unmanned planes will be eligible it will help Baku to become regional arms dealer”, Sumerinli says. “Georgia, Central Asia and certain Arab countries lack such planes”, says he, “so if the testing will be positive and Baku offers the planes to those countries in affordable price, the demand for the Azerbaijan made spy-plane may be high.”

Embassy of Israel did not comment to the given issue.

Unmanned planes are not the only plan of the Azerbaijan defense sphere business sphere. Ministry of Defense Industry is negotiating with different defense companies of Israel and with two Turkish companies for the possible manufacture of an armored vehicle on the basis of the Russian T-55 tank, Sumerinli said. Representatives of the Ministry refrain from commenting to the given issue.

Pro-governmental news agency APA reported in February quoting the above named military sources that the Ministry of Defense Industry will supply South African Matador and Marauder type 30 armored vehicles.

Work at planes is also underway. This month President Aliev reviewed the Diamond DA-42 Austrian four-seat military-transport plane prototype. The given plane is being assembled by the State company AZAD Systems.

Additionally, the recently opened factory in Baku manufactures mobile mini-bakeries and mini-kitchens along with water-cleaning mobile stations.

During 2009-2010 the military manufacture in Azerbaijan has doubled and the assortment of the products has increased by 17%, Ministry Defense Industry claims. Share of the military expenses in the State budget in 2011 is shocking – 19.6%.

For demonstrating its military production this February Azerbaijan participated in the Abu-Dhabi International Exhibition IDEX-2011. Since last year Azerbaijan has participated in military exhibitions in Jordan, Poland and South Africa.

According to the Ministry of Defense Industry they have presented 71 different models at the IDEX-2011 exhibition. There is no information about the selling of the arms yet.

For the moment being the strengthening of the Azerbaijan defense sector is mainly inspired by the sense of national pride, not revenues. “We did not have any military manufacture several years ago and today it develops rapidly”, President Ilham Aliev stressed at the session of government in March.

March 15 the Prime-Minister Artur Rasizade said in Parliament that Azerbaijan has become “the leader in the South Caucasus” in view of arms manufacture. Military experts Sumerinli claims that the army is now only being supplied with Azerbaijan made bullets and shells. “Everything else is only being tested,” he says.

Ministry of Defense Industry refrains from commenting. Sumerinli says the arms will finally be tested by time. “The Ministry has a great PR, but not just the quantity of arms is important, but its quality also.”

Shahin Abasov is an independent journalist in Baku and member of board of the Open Society – Azerbaijan Foundation.

Corporal Giorgi Avaliani’s Funeral

Today, March 1 was held the funeral of corporal Giorgi Avaliani, who was killed in a military mission in Afghanistan on February 22.

February 23 1921…

It was just as cold in Tbilisi 90 years ago, as today…

On February 22-23 reinforcements arrived to the Bolshevik forces attacking Tbilisi – on February 22 the repairs of the Foilo bridge was finished and the Red Army renewed relocation of reserve forces and ammunition from Azerbaijan.

Along with that the 18th Cavalry Division neared Tbilisi, which, on February 17, according to the Gekker approved plan crossed the Georgian boarder from Azerbaijan direction and attacked the left wing of the forces defending Tbilisi. The brilliant victory achieved by General Jijikhia’s forces at the given wing one day before, in fact became useless after the arrival of the exceeding enemy forces – Jijikhia’s units retreated to previous positions.

The left wing of Tbilisi was endangered. The necessity to reinforce the right wing along with the left wing as the other Bolshevik forces approached from the western direction and took over Manglisi, threatening Tbilisi from the rear. General Kvinitadze had to prolong the front line all the way to Tskneti.

Units of the 9th army of Kuban took over Gagra at the Abkhazeti front.

Casualties in Georgian Military Contingent in Afghanistan Increases

Giorgi Tskhvitava

At approximately 13:00 February 22 the Defense Ministry of Georgia made a statement about death of one and injury of two Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan: “… Corporal Giorgi Avaliani died of a mine explosion when at a military mission. Corporal Nikoloz Deisadze and Corporal Ednar Abuladze injured in the same explosion will go through medical treatment in Germany”. Giorgi Avaliani is the sixth soldier killed in the international peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan. Colonel Ramaz Gogiashvili, Sergeant David Tsetskhladze, Corporal Giorgi Kolkhitashvili and Corporal Nugzar Kalandadze were killed on September 30 2010. On September 5 2010 was killed Senior Lieutenant Mukhran Suhkvani when on a peacekeeping military mission.

Percentage ratio of the ISAF operation participant countries’ population and military contingent sent to Afghanistan by those countries shows that after the USA, Georgia has the highest number of soldiers in Afghanistan. We are at the second place in the given operation and are ahead of such countries as Canada (population – 34 million, ISAF participant soldiers – 2922), United Kingdom (population – 61 million, ISAF participant soldiers – 9500 soldiers) and etc; and these countries are NATO members, while we are still quite far from the membership in the given organization.

Population of Georgia is 4, 630,841 and 749 soldiers participate in the ISAF operation under the US Command and 171 soldiers under the French Command. In the near future they will be joined by artillerists and policemen, who will act as instructors.

It is noteworthy that the military contingent sent to Afghanistan makes 5% of the total Georgian military forces, meaning that 5% of the armed forces are not in the country during 6 months; additionally, during the rotation period the given figure goes up to 10%. When showing the given figures we must consider that the Russian tanks are “just a second away” from Tbilisi and according to Georgian government itself, they are just waiting for the order to attack.

Tragic death of soldiers in Afghanistan is not the first the will not be the last: 59 soldiers were killed in Afghanistan just during 2011. Coalition forces have lost 2340 soldiers in Afghanistan since 2001 up to date.

Although, it is hard to imagine that in all the other countries the real story of the death of those 2340 soldiers has been concealed and that they have been buried as it is being done in Georgia – secretly from Georgian population. Secretly from the population for the safety of which the soldiers have given their lives.

The casualties were predicted when sending the military units to Afghanistan and it was clear that ISAF campaign would not go without loss for Georgian armed forces, although we all wished for all the soldiers to return to their homes alive and safe.

Unfortunately, the Georgian elite do not understand that the population must not only receive positive information, but bad news also. Furthermore that we are speaking about the brave Georgians who are participating in NATO operation outside of Georgia and their risking their lives for strengthening the security of Georgia and are doing their share in fastening the Georgia’s integration into NATO.

Here is how the soldiers are respected for the last time in the countries where the truth is not concealed:

Somalia pirates kill four hostage US citizens – BBC reports

Pirates hijacked the yacht of the Californian Jim and Scott Adams by the Oman coast. The pirates opened fire at the US Navy forces during negotiations. US military opened the response fire and boarded the hijacked yacht.

The US soldiers found the US citizens killed at the yacht. Two pirates have been shot dead and 13 have been taken prisoner during the operation.

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