Can the American tanks make it in time to defend Tbilisi?
16 September, 2015
Can the American tanks make it in time to defend Tbilisi?
In case of the next military crisis, Russia will do its best to impede NATO from deploying its forces from the European bases to Georgia. There is no doubt about that.

The US military commander said exactly what we were expecting USA to do in August 2008. That is, the tangible military support instead of expressing indignation.

Last week, in Tbilisi, during an international conference, the US infantry commander in Europe, Leutenant-General Ben Hodges made a startling statement. As he
said, the Pentagon is working on a plan: How to deploy American soldiers and military equipment from European bases to Georgia in case of another aggression. Practically, the American military commander said exactly what we Georgians expecting the USA to do in August 2008. That is, tangible military support instead of expressing indignation.
This explains why the Pentagon, during the joint military drill in May, deployed infantry combat vehicles, Bradleys, from Europe.
Then, everybody talked about the first appearance of the American combat vehicles on Georgian soil, but, in fact, the main reason was to determine, how quickly the military equipment can arrive from Bulgarian sea ports to Georgia.
But the truth is that Russians are wide awake too, and they will do everything to impede the American military from reaching Georgia in time or to never reach it at all.

There are three different ways to deploy American forces to Georgia – by air, by sea and by soil. Each one of them has positive and negative sides.

There are three different ways to deploy American forces to Georgia – by air, by sea and by soil. Each one of them has positive and negative aspects. Naturally, the fastest way is to do it by air (but only manpower, because to deploy the combat vehicles, too much resources will be needed). But, if the aggressor has time to destroy the runways of the Georgian airports, then this variant is ruled out. By the way, in 2008, Russia bombed all of our airports except Tbilisi International. There was a political reason for that because, technically, they could destroy it too.

As for the deployment by soil, the first choice is Turkey. In Incirlik, there is a big American military base, but it’s an air base and they do not have any heavy vehicles. The second choice is to deploy the military from the base in Germany to Bulgaria, then to Turkey. This process will take a lot of time, but this is not the main problem. As we all remember, in 2008, Turkey tried to block the way for American ships that were going to the Georgian ports. We have no guarantees that Turkey, out of fear or respect towards Russia, will not try to do it again.

The third way, by sea, seems to be the most suitable. From Burgas and Varna ports in Bulgaria and from Constanta port in Romania the American ferries will find no obstacles. But this just seems to be that way. The reality is slightly different. Of course, Russia may not launch an attack on the American ships, but it will try to destroy the Georgian ports and make it impossible for the Americans to reach Georgia. Apart from that, if this happens, Georgia will face economic problems as well.

As we see, no road is absolutely safe. So, if the American government thinks about tangible military support in case of another aggression, it will be better not to wait for the Kremlin and to deploy the American forces now, as in Germany after WWII.
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