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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Current Events > Russia, Central Asia, and The Caucasus > South Ossetian Conflict

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South Ossetian Conflict Discuss the conflict between Georgia and Russia over South Ossetia.

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  #1  
Old 20 Apr 09, 16:53
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Why don't Georgia let Ossetia go?

anyone know, for instance, the main 3 reasons why georgia can't or won't adopt this strategy?
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  #2  
Old 20 Apr 09, 17:21
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Since Georgia's goal is to keep the secessionist regions, how could giving them up be a strategy?
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  #3  
Old 20 Apr 09, 19:51
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that's what i'd like to know. why, if its true as you say it is, does georgia wish to keep the secessionst regions? what are the 3 main reasons?

(& to answer ur question, if u can achieve the aims of whatever ur goal is, by seceeding ur goal, hence the strategy)

Last edited by lancsDavid; 20 Apr 09 at 20:02..
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  #4  
Old 21 Apr 09, 02:58
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Originally Posted by lancsDavid View Post
that's what i'd like to know. why, if its true as you say it is, does georgia wish to keep the secessionst regions? what are the 3 main reasons?
Because they're part of its territory.
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  #5  
Old 21 Apr 09, 07:07
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Principle, Pride, the same reasons that govern these sort of things.
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Old 21 Apr 09, 08:30
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some men try to force their wives or girlfriends who don't love them, to stay with them. and if these men are powerful, feared, or if their culture supports them (such as in some muslim countries), they get their way

but it makes no odds. its a pointless thing to do & men who do it are weirdos. everyone knows this

countries, one would expect, don't behave this way. barring politics, which can cause them to act irrationally, one expects their actions to be usually based on logical things like economics & security concerns

of course, if the whole population of georgia effectively have a personality disorder, and would rather experience war than let one of their breakaway regions go, then one would fully expect a weak-minded government to go along with this. after all, it takes a strong minded parent to stand up to a bunch of strong-willed children & say "no, you might want junk food & chocolate every meal but you're not having it"

i'm just curious to know whether there are some key factors (such as oil deposits or fear of russia) that are causing the georgian government to behave as they do
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Old 21 Apr 09, 09:17
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You might as well ask why Russia does not give North Ossetia its freedom as well. Look what happened when Chechnya said it wanted out of Russia.

It behooves the Russian government to keep the small Caucasus nations in its sphere of influence. Georgia wanted to join NATO, so Georgia needed to be taught a lesson. Right now Russia controls all pipelines going West from the Caspian Sea. A line across Georgia would mean less revenues and control over the oil and gas. If the Ukraine gives Russia trouble, Russia cuts off its Natural Gas.

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Old 21 Apr 09, 12:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lancsDavid View Post
countries, one would expect, don't behave this way. barring politics, which can cause them to act irrationally, one expects their actions to be usually based on logical things like economics & security concerns
Acting on the basis of territorial integrity is not irrationality.
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Old 21 Apr 09, 16:40
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Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
You might as well ask why Russia does not give North Ossetia its freedom as well. Look what happened when Chechnya said it wanted out of Russia.

It behooves the Russian government to keep the small Caucasus nations in its sphere of influence. Georgia wanted to join NATO, so Georgia needed to be taught a lesson. Right now Russia controls all pipelines going West from the Caspian Sea. A line across Georgia would mean less revenues and control over the oil and gas. If the Ukraine gives Russia trouble, Russia cuts off its Natural Gas.

Pruitt
Do I smell a red herring here?

In fact the situation is much more complex than just teaching lessons. The reasons for the August war were determined by the factor of internal politics in the Russian Caucasus republics even more than by the factor of foreign politics.
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  #10  
Old 22 Apr 09, 06:06
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ShAA,

There is no simple explanation to the Caucasus! I get in trouble sometimes when I use as few words as possible, but here I just touched on the thoughts that came to my head. As is every situation, there are two sides.

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  #11  
Old 22 Apr 09, 07:33
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the nation state has all the power (or at least too much). the geographic regions contained within it - even if if they are composed of separate ethnic groups - have none of the power (or at least too little)

in other words, the (power) relationship between the parts & the whole is out of balance. and needs fixing. because until its fixed it will continue to destablize the world, giving rise to wars & skirmishes. such as whats currently happening in georgia

or perhaps, its not so much out of balance and needs fixing. as much as its kinda like a science or abstract understanding we don't yet have, but badly need. because as soon as it arrives, the whole south ossetia / abkhazia / ajara problem - & many more like them - will suddenly seem much easier to solve


could this be true?
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Old 22 Apr 09, 18:42
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Welcome to politics - People who go into politics seek power. This is true regardless of what they intend to do with that power. Beyond that, the willingness to fight over who has what rights to which land predates recorded history. And beyond that there is nothing special about Georgia, Russia, and South Ossetia.
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Old 22 Apr 09, 20:44
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yeh, i guess

anyway, thanks for the posts everyone
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Old 23 Apr 09, 01:22
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Reasons for Georgia not just letting SO go.

1. It is not at all clear whether the original residents of SO actually wanted to be let go. It was a patchwork of Ossetian and Georgian villages and plenty of Ossets actually live also in other parts of Georgia and seem happy enough. The current population mix is a result of ethnical cleansing and the current political regime isn't exactly democratic... So we don't really know what SO population would like to do.

2. Georgian national pride. SO has been traditionally part of Georgia, before the ethnic cleansing there were lots of Georgians living there (and they were not just recent immigrants). Politically ceding SO will hurt whomever is in charge in Georgia a lot. Actually losing it in a war with Russia might politically be better to just giving it up, but that is perhaps too simplistic.

3. Strategically SO is located in the middle of Georgia and forms a sort of bridgehead across the mountains. Having hostile forces controlling it will make defence of Georgia very difficult.

4. There is international pressure on maintaining borders as they are. There are many countries who would not be too happy about a precedent of allowing such secession to happen (China would be very unhappy, as would Spain, but ironically also Russia).

5. SO is not exactly viable as a state, so one sided abandoning it is not that simple. There are also practical problems. Since SO does not have a legitimate government (one that has been elected in fair elections that is) how should Georgian government go about negotiating the secession. There would most likely be huge courtcases as those Georgians or Ossets not happy about it would sue the Georgian government for not meeting its duties of providing law and order. You could argue it was the same if US decided to cede some lawless part of say Detroit to the ruling street gang there rather than trying to restore order. How do you think the local inhabitants would respond?

Personally, given the situation Georgia was in (Russian hold of A and SO was and is blocking Georgian accession to West). I would've advocated for him to declare that SO and Abkhazia are outside Georgian borders, invite all residents not happy about it to Georgia proper and offer them compensation and be done with it. He would have taken a lot of heat for it - probably more than he is now, but at least Russia would no longer have a hold on Georgia.
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Old 26 Apr 09, 08:54
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Originally Posted by pp(est) View Post
Reasons for Georgia not just letting SO go.

1. It is not at all clear whether the original residents of SO actually wanted to be let go. It was a patchwork of Ossetian and Georgian villages and plenty of Ossets actually live also in other parts of Georgia and seem happy enough. The current population mix is a result of ethnical cleansing and the current political regime isn't exactly democratic... So we don't really know what SO population would like to do.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_O...ferendum,_2006
Quote:
The unrecognized republic of South Ossetia, a breakaway region of Georgia with its capital in Tskhinvali, held a referendum on independence on November 12, 2006. The voters answered a question: "should South Ossetia preserve its present status of a de facto independent state?" 99 percent of voters supported independence.
Quote:
Preliminary results from Sunday's voting in Georgia's breakaway province, South Ossetia, show that voters overwhelmingly support independence for the small Caucasus mountain region,
http://www.voanews.com/english/archi...1-13-voa18.cfm

Quote:
n 3rd October 1999 a referendum was held to ascertain the citizens attitude to the current Constitution. On the referendum day there lived on the territory of Abkhazia 219,534 citizens eligible to vote, i.e. 58.5 percent of the pre-war number of voters. 87.6 percent of the registered voters took part in the referendum, which comprised more than half of the pre-war number of voters. 97.7 percent of the voters approved the Constitution currently in force.
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Act_of...ic_of_Abkhazia



Quote:
2. Georgian national pride. SO has been traditionally part of Georgia, before the ethnic cleansing there were lots of Georgians living there (and they were not just recent immigrants). Politically ceding SO will hurt whomever is in charge in Georgia a lot. Actually losing it in a war with Russia might politically be better to just giving it up, but that is perhaps too simplistic.
Quote:
1774 - Ossetia is part of the Russian empire
1922 — Ossetia is divided into two parts: North Ossetia remains a part of Russia, South Ossetia - transferred to the Georgian SSR.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ossetia
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