Saakashvili: Threat of Russian Aggression Persists
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 2 Oct.’08 / 19:03
Russia has failed to achieve its major goals in Georgia and therefore the threat of Russian aggression still persists, President Saakashvili said on October 2 at a meeting with the command of the Georgian armed forces.
He said that Georgia did not want the war and “we had no plans to carry out such defensive operations especially in Tskhinvali and in South Ossetia.”
“But the enemy supposed that – after the embargo did not work, after provocations did not work, after internal destabilization did not work – it would be impossible to achieve its two major goals – to remove the present authorities of Georgia and to control the oil pipelines,” Saakashvili said.
“But everybody should remember that they failed to fulfill these two tasks. They failed to overthrow the Georgian government and they failed to take control of the oil pipelines,” he continued. “Therefore, everybody should understand that the danger still persists and at any moment the aggressor may launch new attacks, new aggression.”
Saakashvili also said that it was necessary to analyze “the unique” experience gained during the hostilities, as well as to reveal the weak and strong sides of the Georgian armed forces.
He said that the Georgian artillery obviously prevailed over the enemy and the aviation also worked well.
President Saakashvili also emphasized the weak sides of the armed forces, listing bad management system, communications, and flaws in training of officers among them. “The reserve forces also had a serious failure,” he added.
“We should revise this [reserve] system, as well as the call-up system,” Saakashvili said.
He also said that staff changes were made in the armed forces in accordance with the deserts revealed during the war.
“Our army has demonstrated more than enough training, dedication and professionalism,” he said. “However, 10 fold more is needed.”
The Georgian President pointed out that Georgia would continue to develop its armed forces.
“We do not plan to purchase new arms in the near future. We will spend most of our money on economic development; but we will also continue to train servicemen and improve their social conditions,” he said.
He also called on the armed forces to cooperate with the temporary parliamentary commission over the August events.
Saakashvili reiterated that Russia planned to take control over Tbilisi in August, but “at a last moment,” after the world “woke up,” Russia’s political leadership retreated. He said that August 12 rally outside the parliament has definitely contributed to it.
Georgian President pointed out that Russia suffered a great loss in the August war. “According to their own data, 2 thousand soldiers of the Russian armed forces have been killed, 17 air vehicles have been downed and other military hardware damaged.”