A WAR, WITHOUT A LOSER

27/11/2016



The hypertension and the blood bath taking place in Caucasia shocked the world. As a natural result of globalisation, almost all the countries in the world felt the war very near their own borders. After this sort of developments, a list of “winners” and “losers” is generally issued, however this time there was no loser in the war. Russian Federation… The Kremlin intervened in a fait accompli happening on its border on time and explicitly showed that beyond its borders it would not allow any developments against itself. Fighting against a country which had direct support from the west and consequently from the NATO, Kremlin proved that –if necessary- it could use its military resources in regional conflicts. It did not rule out the policy of the international society and took the systematic attempts of the world states into consideration, started the operation on time and stopped it in the same way. For Russia’s neighbours, this war undoubtedly became an experience needed to be taken into consideration; however Russia has reached the limit of its freedom of movement… In the meantime, the inconsistent behaviour of Russia affected its esteem in a negative way in front of world public opinion. Georgia… Saakashvili was elected president in Georgia. In the shadow of the Olympic Games, he went to war with lightning speed in order to regain the control of South Ossetia that declared its independence unilaterally 15 years ago. No one expected this small country could beat Russia. Georgia showed that Russia should come down to earth in South Caucasia, and also proved that despite its limited opportunities, it challenged Russia and showed that it would never compromise its national interests. From now on, Russia will be on the tenterhooks because of Georgia. In this way, the Tbilisi government both increased the support received from the west and succeeded to postpone domestic problems for a while. The “demand for truce” on the second day and “call for help from the world” on the third day were responded to. Tbilisi became successful in this “David and Goliath” game, even if they accomplished this with the great foreign support or it cost too much for them. Russia is hereafter expected to be more anxious for Caucasia. The United States of America… Washington followed a determined behaviour during the crisis. President George W Bush has stated that Russia’s acts caused the conflicts with Georgia to grow “in a dramatic and brutal” way and said “such actions are not acceptable in the 21st century.” Mr Bush played an active role during the crisis and showed that he is so decided to send the problem behind the Caucasus Mountains. Mr Bush proved that no new expansion is possible in Caucasia despite the US. Medvedev announced a halt to military action, and most likely, on the behind of this action, the real reason was the statement of President Bush, expressing that Russia has invaded a sovereign neighbouring state and threatens its democratically elected government and its people. US’s call for putting an end to the Russian bombings, pull-back of Russian troops, and a return by the parties to the status quo was like before 6th of August was responded by Russia and this call determined the end of the action. European Union… Brussels took action so fast this time, and performed well it that pleased its lovers. When we have a look at the relations between EU and Russia, it was expected that EU would close one of his eyes and make decisions no strings attached and avoid taking risks. The EU kept silent and fell behind for the genocides in the past –both in the world and in Europe, however this time they were effective. Both the European institutions and the leaders took the initiative and contributed to stop the war. This situation might be a matter of concern for Russia trying to have strong links with the EU by way of Germany. Because, the last situation shows that in Eurasia, both the axis of Berlin-Moscow and the scope of Europe-Russia partnership will have narrower paths from now on. Turkey… Ankara had fallen behind in the geopolitical assessments after the cold war ended and the classical Soviet threat was removed. Although it improved its position for a while after the 9/11 attacks, together with the Iraq War, it changed its position from “front country” to “wing country” and fell behind the front lines. Nonetheless, the current situation in Iraq and Georgia, seen as the new front countries, showed that Turkey may not be an outpost from now on, however it should be more influential in its periphery and in the geography where Turkey takes its place, and this is the requirement of the global processes. Turkey took part in the correct position during the whole process. It was in close contact with both sides, and suggested the parties be cool-headed, calm and be open to dialogue. Ankara frequently emphasized that the battles lead to the corruption of the safety climate in the region considerably, also create a serious threat against the peace and stability of South Caucasia. It stated that it was ready to deliver humanitarian aid. Foreign Minister Ali Babacan expressed his sadness for the battles where a great number of civilians lost their lives and informed that Turkey was ready to deliver humanitarian aid to the people affected from the battles. With this behaviour, Ankara signalled that it will become the right address for “the post-crisis period” to be able to establish the new political and economical cooperation mechanisms implemented or needed to be implemented in the region. Thus, the idea of the Caucasus Alliance may not yield results in the short run, however it may be implemented with very limited participation and sharp lines. From Turkey’s point of view, the only problem that might come into question in the post-crisis period could be US’s gaining an increasing influence in the Black Sea. Azerbaijan… The developments regarding South Ossetia may have an impact on Baku, in a positive way. Azerbaijan has the similar conditions like Georgia because of the Armenian occupation in Karabakh. The supporters of the secessionist powers in South Ossetia and Karabakh are fed from the same source. Baku will learn some lessons from the experience of Tbilisi and the attitude of the international society and the systematic of the states in South Ossetia. Abkhazia... Trying to break away from Georgia, Abkhazia’s role was seen well in Caucasus equations. The war between Georgia and Russia opened the “Abkhazia Front” in a reflexive way. Russian troops organized military operations over Abkhazia, and even Russia has given an ultimatum to Georgian troops in Abkhazia for capitulation. Georgia did not accept Russia’s call for capitulation and upon this, Russian troops began to advance towards Zugdidi, a border town. Russian jets bombarded Upper Kodori Gorge, a place left in Abkhazia territory but under the control of Georgia. In addition, Russia established a clearway on the Abkhazia coasts of Black Sea and declared that it would destroy all Georgian ships and aeroplanes entering the clearway, and showed its determination. Furthermore, in Abkhazia which is the other hot spot of the country as they declared independence from Georgia unilaterally, Russia increased the number of its soldiers to nine thousand and the number of armoured vehicles to 350. After this crisis, Abkhazia came as close to its goals as it never did. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation… After the end of the Cold War, the reason for NATO’s basis of existence had become controversial. Having been established for the purpose of defence after World War II, the organisation aims that in the event of one of the member states is attacked, all the other members are going to go to a war against the attacker cooperatively. NATO’s goal can be summarised as to protect the state of peacetime, international security, social development and the freedom of the member nations. After the collapse of the Eastern Bloc in 90s, “crisis management”, “peace establishing and protection activities” and “controlled armament” became the issues in NATO’s agenda. In the same period, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was established in order to reduce the risks of conflicts by using the UN principles pacifically. The relations with states that are not members to NATO have been improved. “Partnership for Peace” and “Stabilization Force” programs have been launched, NATO has become more flexible and significant developments have come into being. In 1996, through “Joint Task Force” concept, NATO complied with the global conditions. In 1997, “The North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC)” was turned into “The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC)”, and afterwards “NATO-Russia Council (NRC)” was established. Latterly, fight against regional controversies and global terrorism has begun to take over among NATO’s priorities. Following the success in Kosovo, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slavonia have joined the organisation and become members. In 2009, Albania and Croatia are expected to join. Ukraine and Georgia are going to be members in the future. The events in Ossetia showed that NATO’s functionality hasn’t come to an end; on the contrary NATO is needed to be strengthened and be made more active.
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