This essay The Main Reasons of the War in August 2008 has a total of 2035 words and 9 pages.
The Main Reasons of the War in August 2008
There are lots of unsolved conflicts in contemporary world, among which is the issue of so called South Ossetia Region. As new government of Georgia came in to the power in 2004, territorial integrity became one of the major concerns to be solved. At that time the majority of Georgian society thought that integrity issue would be solved in the peaceful manner. However, since then, events developed in such way that in August 2008 military conflict launched in South Ossetia. The nature of this conflict had significant implications for regional and international power politics.
According to the American scientist Kenneth Waltz “peace is the one among a number of ends simultaneously entertained… To explain how peace can be more readily achieved requires an understanding of the causes of the war”.
After the war between Russia and Georgia the whole world was concerned about what was the reason of the August war? This paper attempts to review some literature about this topic trying to answer this main question and create even a little understanding of the views that were expressed during or after the war.
According the literature reviewed, views about causes of the war can be divided in two parts. First part is about interests’ contradiction between Russia and the USA and the second – about “Matter” of Saakashvili.
Interests’ contradiction – Russia and the USA
The views about Russia’s interest are express by Riho Ühtegi in his article “the 2008 Russia-Georgia war five years later”, that was published in Estonian analytical journal Diplomaatia. As the author explains situation in the Caucasus, “the area has been in Russia’s sphere of influence already for a couple of hundred years. Having a say in the transit of local oil and natural gas is definitely important to Russia”. Article also briefly defines relations between countries in Caucasus region and their inter-dependence on each other and mostly on Russia. As it is mentioned “although Georgia became independent after the breakup of the Soviet Union, ties with Russia remain strong. Russia managed to keep Georgia in its sphere of influence precisely through hotbeds (like Abkhazia and South Ossetia) of tension and economic dependence. However after Saakashvili rise to power, Georgia took a sharp turn towards the West, which certainly angered Russia.” Author argues that Russia knows that Georgia’s integration in to NATO is under the question mark while country has unsolved domestic problems. And this point was also somehow declared during Bucharest summit in April 2008. So this was the impetus for Russia to keep the issues of conflicted regions unsolved.
Analyzing interests of west and Russia, in his article “The Russo-Georgian war and the balance of power” George Friedman notes that “Russians welcomed the opportunity to drive home the new reality, which was that they could invade Georgia and the West could not respond.” Author claims that Russians did not view the invasion as risky because they new that Europeans and Americans needed Russia more than Russians needed them.
He also mentions two motives why Russia invaded. First is the ignorance of Russia’s request not to be given formal independence to Kosovo. And due to this reason “Russians decided to respond where they had all the cards: in South Ossetia”. The more important was second motive. Putin considered the fall of Soviet Union as a situation in which Russian national security was threatened by the Western interest and these interests were in connection with NATO enlargement.
Friedman verifies that Putin wanted to re-established the Russian sphere of influence in the former Soviet Union region and for this he had to do two things. First to re-establish the credibility of the Russian army as a fighting force; second had to establish that NATO membership meant nothing in the face of Russian power. Author points out that as Putin did not wanted to confront NATO directly, Georgia was the “perfect choice” and by invading Georgia, Russia established the credibility of the Russian army and proved that American guarantees have no value.
Greg Jentzsch expresses interesting viewpoint in the article “What are the main causes of the conflict in South Ossetia and how can they best be addressed to promote lasting peace”. Listing several approaches that defines the main reasons
Topics Related to The Main Reasons of the War in August 2008
Georgia countryRussia relations, Russo-Georgian War, Georgia, Caucasus, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Mikheil Saakashvili, Responsibility for the Russo-Georgian War, Occupied territories of Georgia