Short Cuts: Georgia to send more troops into Iraq

As the UK announced a withdrawal, US-ally Georgia is raising its troops from 850 to 2,000. This has two reasons: With Russia getting more powerful, Georgia wants to tie itself closer to the USA. In the conflict about Abkhazia, the US has backed the government in Tiflis. De facto,the Abkazian province is independent, but the Georgian government still fails to recognize this. The Abkhazian independent movement gets support from the Russian government and the Russian Orthodox church. The Russian government has a steady interest in reason around the Caucasus, in this case primarily road and rail links to the South Caucasus running through Abkhazia, Black Sea ports and the tourist industry.

The second reason is NATO: Georgia desperately wants to join the club and – with the trouble the alliance has getting enough contributors for the Afghanistan-mission – the troop surge sends a signal to NATO that Georgia is ready, willing and able to play a role in dangerous missions. Russia is opposed to Georgia joining the NATO, as it wants to keep the country under its influence.

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