U.S. cyber warriors to protect Georgia?

AFP Photo / Louisa Gouliamaki
A delegation of Pentagon officials is still in Georgia trying to understand why the U.S.-trained and equipped Georgian army was defeated in just two days last August. That’s according to the latest issue of U.S. Congressional Quarterly Weekly. The major g

So far, there have been no official comments from the Bush administration on what military ammunition and equipment exactly the U.S. is planning to provide to Georgia, although the question is the subject of much speculation by American political and military experts.

Back in August Max Boot, a Moscow-born foreign policy advisor to the American presidential candidate John McCain, proposed supplying the portable air-defence systems Stinger and Javelin to Georgia. At the same time, military and political analyst Frederick W. Kagan, author of the George Bush’s ‘surge’ plan for changing the course of the Iraq War, called for the Georgian army to be equipped with ‘upgraded air-defence systems’, ‘anti-tank potential’ and also called for ‘the expanded presence of American military advisers’.

Some in-depth analysis on how the U.S. could have prevented Russia from flattening the Georgian army was presented last week by the former Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, Michael W. Wynne.

“We could have flown Global Hawks or U2s on the Russian-Georgian border to signal our watchfulness to the Russians. We could have escorted these assets with F-22s, which fly at a high enough altitude to operate in defence of unmanned assets, or can operate to defend key assets in Georgia,” Wynne told online defence journal DoD Buzz.

“I have written elsewhere about the need to shape cyber warriors to defend against Russian attacks, and we need to enhance their ability to provide for air and tank defences through providing aid to the new states in Europe. Clearly, the new world order needs to be re-evaluated. Peace is a product of clarity and strength. No doubt calculations are underway, and surprise is always at hand,” he continued.

Another issue of great interest to U.S. officials is the fate of the five Humvee vehicles belonging to American marines that were confiscated by Russian servicemen during the Russia-Georgia conflict near the Georgian port of Poti. To be more precise, it’s not the Humvees but the fate of the cargo they were carrying that raises the questions.

The Humvees were brought into Georgia, together with over 1,000 American troops, for a U.S.-Georgia military joint-exercise. Vaziani, the military base that hosted the exercise is situated just 100 kilometres from the Georgian capital and the war games ended just a week before the conflict.

Pentagon representatives say the Humvees were waiting to be loaded onto a ship in the port of Poti together with two containers packed with American staff property, when Russian forward detachments got to the port. Since then, Washington has not abandoned the idea of recovering the vehicles and their cargo and has already had several telephone conversations with Russia on getting the vehicles back on the pretext that they are the ‘property of the U.S’. The Russian side has replied that the equipment the Humvees were carrying “very interesting” and will be examined thoroughly.

Although the Russians have not announced exactly what kind of equipment they was in the vehicles, some experts believe it could be a GPS system of radio beacons to be used for directing and navigating U.S. military planes in the event of an attack on Iran.

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