Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Coming Russia-Georgia Clash Over Abkhazia

From Newsweek:

All summer, Kremlin officials hinted that hostilities between Russia and Georgia could rise to a boil again. Now it looks as if Moscow has decided to turn up the heat. Last week a Russian patrol boat carrying rockets docked in a port along the coast of Abkhazia, one of Georgia's Russian-backed breakaway republics. Moscow has promised nine more ships to follow. They will confront a small fleet of U.S.-supplied Georgian gunboats, which until now have effectively blockaded Abkhazia, seizing ships--including a Turkish tanker--attempting to supply the rebel government.

Read more ....

My Comment: I do not share Newsweek's viewpoint that Russia wants to raise the "heat" on this issue. Are there tensions ... of course there are. Does Georgia want to retake Abkhazia .... of course they do. Will the Russians permit this to happen .... they will not.

The Georgian Navy can huff and puff but they are no match for the Russian Navy in the region. If Georgia decides to pull a "Gulf of Tonkin" incident in which their smaller patrol boats attack Russian warships .... they will be defeated. But if Georgia wants to stoke an international confrontation but doing such a stunt .... they will probably succeed. Is this wise .... no .... but it will bring back international attention to the Caucasus, which is probably Georgia's objective anyway.

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