The U.S. trains Georgian troops to serve in Afghanistan

This certainly does not get front page coverage in US news media! This is typical of the US trying to spread the pain of Afghanistan around. No doubt the Georgian troops are funded by the US government rather than the Georgian govt. The US also provides the Georgian army with arms and other equipment. Georgia was also a member of the coalition of the billing in Iraq but its 2000 troops had to be rushed back to Georgia during the conflict with Russia. The US is trying to have Georgia become part of NATO. This type of action on Russia's doorstep is bound to create friction with Russia.

This is from thenews.

US military trains Georgian troops for Afghanistan mission

Tuesday, October 27, 2009
TBILISI: Georgian forces on Monday launched a joint training exercise with the US military ahead of the deployment of hundreds of Georgian troops next spring in Afghanistan, the defence ministry said. US military cooperation with pro-Western Georgia has strained ties between the United States and Russia, which last year fought a five-day war with Georgia.

“The exercises are aimed at training Georgian servicemen to be deployed within the framework of the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force),” Georgian defence ministry spokeswoman Salome Makharadze told AFP.

“The exercises will last for two weeks and involve a total of 840 servicemen, 420 Georgians and the same number of Americans,” she added. She said the 420 Georgian troops will leave for Afghanistan next spring and serve under US command.

A company of Georgian servicemen is also to be sent to Afghanistan next month to serve under French command, Makharadze said. She could not specify how many Georgian troops would take part, but a company typically consists of 100-200 servicemen.

The US embassy said in a statement that the exercise, called Immediate Response, “is specifically designed to enhance Georgia’s ability to conduct joint counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan together with US forces.”

Moscow has accused Washington of meddling in the region and of rearming Georgia. More than 100,000 foreign troops, most of them Americans, are stationed in Afghanistan, fighting an increasingly bloody insurgency being waged by the Taliban and its allies. About 2,000 Georgian troops were deployed with US forces in Iraq from August 2003 but were rushed back to Georgia in August last year for the war with Russia over the breakaway region of South Ossetia.


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