The Bush Administration is now having serious problems with Georgian President Saakashvili. He has always been seen as an excellent political tool, very pro-American, very anti-Putin and a man who had received over $860,000 USD from the American government for his “friendly cooperation” in permitting American and Israeli intelligence and military units to develop a striking base in his country aimed at both Russia and Iran.
Saakashvili. has had three highly informative and secret email exchanges (on September 3,4 and 5th) with American Vice President Cheney and two with American Secretary of State Rice (on September 1 and 3rd) concerning the future of Georgia. Since email privacy is impossible to maintain, the contents of these messages are certainly not secret.
Saakashvili has reiterated repeatedly, and very forcefully, that he wants the U.S. to reequip the Georgian army to the level it was at prior to the military events with Russia in early August.
Saakashvili insists that the U.S. develop a large naval base at Poti, the oil refinery port, to protect it from the Russians.
Saakashvili wants a large number of American troops stationed in Georgia for a protracted period to physically protect that country by their presence.
Saakashvili is also asking Israel to occupy at least one air base and to station a significant number of bombing aircraft there to facilitate a planned attack on Iran or on Russian forces should they invade Georgian territory again.
Saakashvili stated that he planned to equip loyalist local militias in the two provinces, Abkhazia and South Ossetia ,with sufficient weapons to harass and drive out the Russian occupiers.
Saakashvili intends to ask Israel to send tactical atomic weapons to Georgia to maintain a balance against Russian aggression..
Saakashvili vowed on September 6 to regain control over the two independence-seeking provinces of by military force at the earliest possible opportunity..
Major problems facing Washington include:
The total inability of the U.S. to field a significant force of ground troops anywhere in the area due to prior needs in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Small numbers of American military personnel (there were two thousand such personnel in Georgia before that country attacked South Ossetia and then were forced to rapidly evacuate following a massive Russian military incursion) could be made available but large and determinant numbers are not possible and this is certainly well-known to the public.
The well-publicized instability of Saakashvili who can best termed a loose cannon. Although a bought-and-paid-for American source, the Georgian leader, cozened and flattered by the Bush White House, has come to believe that he is America’s darling who can do as he wishes with their complete support. He has pranced around the state, shouting to his fellow-countrymen and giving the finger to Vladimir Putin.
A treacherous ally, Israel, who thinks that, like Georgia’s President, that they have the full and unconditional backing of the Bush White House (but certainly not the Ametican public) and have been working both sides of the block at the same time, swearing total allegiance to the United States while passing our military, economic and political secrets to the Russians.
A strong reluctance on the part of Turkey to let American naval units take up residence in the Black Sea. The only entrance and exit for such units would be through Turkish territorial waters and Turkey has a very understandable desire not to provoke economic or military responses from Russia.
A Russian GRU report, under date of September 3, 2008, concerning one aspect of the huge trove of American and Israeli intelligence documents found abandoned in Georgia by both American intelligence units as well as Israeli, disclosed that the U.S. electronic equipment captured at Poti by Russian spesnatz units was partially manufactured, under U.S. license, at Odessa in the Ukraine. The Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but NATO-compatible sensitive military equipment is being manufactured in a non-NATO country. The Russian reports goes on to state that the Georgian military not only abandoned “significant amounts of” valuable equipment, but essentially totally compromised both the American and Israeli intelligence network set up in Georgia for the purpose of electronic spying on Iran, Russia and Turkey.
As a matter of record, once this story was published, the American military immediately denied that anyone captured any sensitive American documents. Unfortunately, the Russians did and are now quietly releasing the results of their finds. On the other hand, the Israelis are smart enough to keep their mouths shut about what the Russians discovered about their activities.
The Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, turned out to be an utter disaster in conducting surveillance over Russian territory prior to the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia. Russian aircraft, aided by their new radar systems, were able to shoot down all of these craft and subsequent incursions by Russian forces overran Israeli reconnaissance control bases and captured a number of intact drones of different types as well as a wealth of technical data and many reconnaissance films taken on earlier incursions of Russian air space.
Russian counter-intelligence units also seized copies of the computer files of the Georgian government, including highly sensitive diplomatic messaging from, and to, the following individuals and entities:
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USA in Georgia John Teft
the delegation of the EU Troika represented by Eric Fournier
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of France - current EU Presidency, Robin Liddell First Counselor of the European Commission’s Delegation to Georgia and Ivan Jestřāb Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic - next EU Presidency
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation – State Secretary G. Karasin
representatives of the Embassies of the New Group of Georgia’s Friends: Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic accredited in Georgia
representatives of the Embassies of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and China
Director of the Policy Planning Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia Tiit Matsulevitš
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine in Georgia Mikolas Spiss
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Estonia to Georgia Toomas Lukk
delegation of the EU Troika represented by Fabienne Drout-Lozinski
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Georgia Denis Keefe
representatives of the Embassies of the Netherlands, Italy, Holy See, Turkey, France, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Ukraine to Georgia
Deputy US Ambassador Kent Loxton and representative of the Embassy’s political division Joy Davis Kirshner
the diplomatic corps accredited in Georgia
Permanent Representative of Georgia to the UN, Ambassador Irakli Alasania
Also discovered were the special bank accounts into which the United States Embassy, acting for “several” other American agencies, (CIA and DoS) paid monies for the “personal use” of President Saakashvili:
For transactions in GEL
Beneficiary’s Bank: “Basis Bank”Bank Code : 220101956
Beneficiary: “DEVELOPMENT AND REFORM FOUNDATION” UNDER PRESIDENT OF GEORGIA
Account Number # : 134530
Total deposits from State Department accounts: $275,000
For transactions in US Dollars
Intermediary Bank,: DEUTCHE BANK TRUST CO. AMERICAS NEW YORK, USA, SWIFT : BKTRUS33 ABA : 021001033
Beneficiary’s Bank: BASIS BANK TBILISI, GEORGIA SWIFT : CBASGE22
Beneficiary: OBJECTIVE ACCOUNT FOUNDATION ” DEVELOPMENT AND REFORM FOUNDATION”
Account Number # 134530
Total deposits from State Department accounts $400,000
For transactions in Euro and other convertible currency:
Intermediary Bank: DEUTCHE BANK FRANKFURT/ESCHBORN, DEUTSCHLAND, SWIFT : DEUT DE FF
Beneficiary’s bank: BASIS BANK, TBILISI, GEORGIA SWIFT : CBASGE22
Beneficiary: OBJECTIVE ACCOUNT FOUNDATION “DEVELOPMENT AND REFORM FOUNDATION”
Account Number #134530
Total deposits from State Department accounts: $185,000