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The Main Reasons of the War in August 2008

Literature Review
Course: Academic Writing

December 22, 2014

Introduction
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 of the conflict, argues that no single theory can be adequately explain the causes of the South Ossetia conflict. However he points out remarkable sight that Russian involvement in South Ossetia can be seen as a cause of the conflicts protraction and not as a root of it. “Given that Russia’s military involvement in Georgia has served to prolong conflict in South Ossetia, Russian motives behind intervention can also be seen as causal factors for the conflicts continuation. These motives include: Russia’s desire to punish Georgia for pursuing integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures, Russia’s desire to punish the West for its recognition of the Kosovo Unilateral Declaration of Independence (as well as for its support of Georgia), Russia’s desire to regain control over what Moscow sees as its historical and geographical sphere of influence, and Russia’s desire to re-establish its status as a world power”. As director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, David Kakabadze claims “Russia is Punishing Georgia for its Western aspiration – for the declared goal of becoming a member of NATO and Euro-Atlantic structures.”
Paper “Georgia and Russia: What Caused the August War?” by Mohammad Sajjadur Rahman suggests hypothesis below to answer the question what motivated Russia and Georgia to believe that a war was necessary to meet their national interests and how critical was the influence of domestic politics in making those decisions? * Russia felt convinced that a quick victory would improve Russia’s image as a resurgent power. * Saakashvili’s false optimism over the U.S. involvement in the conflict led him to risk the war.

I will discuss the second thesis in the next section, but before let’s look at the first.
For testing the first thesis, author considers a few counterfactual issues and according to them blames Russia in invasion as had established the infrastructure and logistical support for a military conflict premeditated. Analyzing this view Mohamed Sajjadur Rahman notes that Russia must have other deep-rooted reason to engage in the war with Georgia. These reasons take roots in Russian Geopolitical interests that fit Russia’s doctrine of “sphere of influence” in the Caucasus. Russia feels threatened by the eastward expansion of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), concerns about Nabucco project that is considered as an alternative source of oil and gas for the EU (European Union). To support the argument above scholar points out that Russia also sent a strong signal to the Ukraine, another candidate for NATO. “Matter” of Saakashvili

In this section I will review those approaches, which claim that the reason of war was Saakashvili’s unwarranted optimism and impulsive actions for quick solution of the conflict.
As I have mentioned above the paper of Mohammad Sajjadur Rahman, I will continue line of reasoning the second hypothesis. Writer argues that perhaps the most important cause of the war was unwarranted optimism of President of Georgia that led him to risk the war wit Russia. Saakashvili expected that the West would intervene in the conflict and Russia’s position as a mediator in the conflict would be discredited. However the USA and the EU failed to send a strong signal to Saakashvili that they would not support in case of risking a war with Russia.
Similar viewpoint is expressed by Lincoln Mitchell, a Georgia scholar and assistant professor in the Practice of International Politics, Columbia University. During his interview in the Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty he argues that one of the reasons of war were Saakashvili’s irrational and impulsive actions several hours before the war. Scholar considers these actions as some mechanism to get support from Georgians while his popularity was decreasing.
Besides this, Nicolai N. Petro gives very interesting analysis in his article “Russia-Georgia war: causes and consequences”. By blaming Georgian president in his nationalism he tries to show why Georgia attacked at that specific time. He suggests two theories about this. The first claims that Georgian military reaction was provoked by Russian actions, which were striving to “punish” Georgia and “Tbilisi felt its only option was to re-conquer the two territories militarily.” The second theory explains that as “Saakashvili frustrated by his inability to make progress in negotiations with the separatists” and “having seen his bid for NATO membership delayed”, Tbilisi’s action for quick solution was timely opportunity “while the worlds attention was diverted by the Olympics.”
Author also puts a question about “why Georgia would think it could succeed in attacking the much larger Russia” and to answer this question he calls for help the words of Georgia’s deputy defense minister, Batu Kutelia, that “Tbilisi had no contingency plans for a Russian military response”.
Summarizing the report of “The Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia“, so called the Tagliavini report, in the article “Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili blamed for starting Russian war”, Ian Traynor outlines that an investigation blamed Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili launching the military actions in Tskhinvali. As author describes the report “while concluding the Georgians fired the first shots, the attack was the culmination of months and years of rising tension and provocations for which both sides bore the blame”. The investigators criticised and condemned Russian conduct and policy in the months and years leading up to the war and its behaviour since. But on the issues of who started what when, the report was unequivocal. The Georgian offensive against Tskhinvali was not justified under international law.
Outlining the reason of war in his article “Independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia: Why it happened?” Alexander Yakovenko claims that Georgia has the aim to re-establish control over South Ossetia and Abkhazia and therefore chose the path of undermining the process of negotiation and ignoring the agreements reached and was acting against breakaway regions. He argues that, as it was clear that the Georgian leader did not want to settle the issue by peaceful means but instead was preparing for war, Russia became a mediator and a peacemaker helping to find a political solution and stopped the genocide against the people of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Conclusion

According to the literature reviewed, we can conclude that that there are different views about causes of the war, which can be united in two main aspects: interests’ contradiction between Russia and the USA and the “Matter” of Saakashvili.
As first approach claims different interests of Russia and the USA lead the war to happen in South Ossetia. Desire to re-establish its sphere of influence and knowing that the West could not respond, Russia invaded the Georgia.
In opposite of this, the second approach argues that the war was caused because of irrational actions and unwarranted optimism of Saakashvili. Expecting that the west would intervene not to let Russia interfere in the conflict of South Ossetia President of Georgia risked the war with Russia.

Bibliography

* Kennth Waltz, “Man, the State and War”, p.2, * Riho Ühtegi, “The 2008 Russia-Georgia War five years later”, Diplomaatia No 120 * Bucharest summit declaration, issued on April 3, 2008, NATO web site * George Friedman, “The Russo-Georgian War and the Balance of Power”, Stratfor Global Intelligence * Greg Jentzsch, “What are the main causes of the conflict in South Ossetia and how can they best be addressed to promote lasting peace”. The BSIS Journal of International Studies, Vol 6 (2009); * Radio Free Europe/ Radio liberty, “Russia ‘punishing’ Georgia for NATO aspirations”, online publication of RFE/RL * Mohammad Sajjadur Rahman, “Georgia and Russia: What Caused the August War?”, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa: Identity, Culture & Politics: An Afro-Asian Dialogue. Volume 10, Number 1 July 2009. pp. 132 - 146. * Radio Free Europe/ Radio liberty, “Roundtable: Causes and Effects of the Russia-Georgia War”, online publication of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty * Nicolai N. Petro, “The Russia – Georgia war: Causes and Consequences”, Centre for world Dialogue * Ian Traynor, “Georgian president Mikheil Saakashviliblamed for starting Russian war”, the Guardian * Alexander Yakovenko, “Independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia: Why it happened”, Russia Today

--------------------------------------------
[ 1 ]. Kennth Waltz, “Man, the State and War”, p.2, Last accessed December 11, 2014: http://books.google.ge/books?id=qUsb210ml48C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
[ 2 ]. Riho Ühtegi, “The 2008 Russia-Georgia War five years later”, Diplomaatia No 120. Last accessed December 11, 2014: http://www.diplomaatia.ee/en/article/the-2008-russia-georgia-war-five-years-later/
[ 3 ]. Bucharest summit declaration, issued on April 3, 2008, NATO web site, Last accessed December 12, 2014: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_8443.htm
[ 4 ]. George Friedman, “The Russo-Georgian War and the Balance of Power”, Stratfor Global Intelligence, Last accessed December 16, 2014: http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/russo_georgian_war_and_balance_power#axzz3LiJ0wgZb
[ 5 ]. Greg Jentzsch, “What are the main causes of the conflict in South Ossetia and how can they best be addressed to promote lasting peace”. The BSIS Journal of International Studies, Vol 6 (2009); Last accessed December 16, 2014: http://www.kent.ac.uk/brussels/documents/journal/2009/Greg%20Jentzsch%20-%20What%20are%20the%20main%20causes%20of%20conflict%20in%20South%20Ossetia%20and%20how%20can%20they%20best%20be%20addressed%20to%20promote%20lasting%20peace.pdf
[ 6 ]. Radio Free Europe/ Radio liberty, “Russia ‘punishing’ Georgia for NATO aspirations”, online publication of RFE/RL, Last accessed December 20, 2014: http://www.rferl.org/content/Russia_Punishing_Georgia_For_NATO_Aspirations/1189974.html [ 7 ]. Mohammad Sajjadur Rahman, “Georgia and Russia: What Caused the August War?”, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa: Identity, Culture & Politics: An Afro-Asian Dialogue. Volume 10, Number 1 July 2009. pp. 132 - 146.; Last accessed December 12, 2014: http://www.codesria.org/IMG/pdf/7-_What_Caused_the_August_War__Mohammad_Sajjadur_Rahman_March_31_2009.pdf
[ 8 ]. Ibid.
[ 9 ]. Radio Free Europe/ Radio liberty, “Roundtable: Causes and Effects of the Russia-Georgia War”, online publication of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Last accessed December 11, 2014: http://www.rferl.org/content/Roundtable_Causes_And_Effects_Of_The_Russia_Georgia_War/1795469.html
[ 10 ]. Nicolai N. Petro, “The Russia – Georgia war: Causes and Consequences”, Centre for world Dialogue, Last accessed December 16, 2014: http://www.worlddialogue.org/content.php?id=439
[ 11 ]. Ian Traynor, “Georgian president Mikheil Saakashviliblamed for starting Russian war”, the Guardian, Last accessed December 18, 2014: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/sep/30/georgia-attacks-unjustifiable-eu
[ 12 ]. Alexander Yakovenko, “Independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia: Why it happened”, Russia Today, Last accessed December 18, 2014: http://rt.com/op-edge/ossetia-georgia-war-independence-220/…...

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Review of the Literature

...Caring for Inmate-Patients: A Review of the Literature Caring for Inmate-Patients In 2010, approximately one in every 27 adults (2.8 million) in the United States was behind bars according to a report from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC), 2012. Maintaining a safe and secure environment is the most important mission of correctional facilities - not healthcare.  Correctional nurses are challenged to provide inmate healthcare services in a caring relationship that promotes wellness, restores health, and facilitates healing. A great deal has been written by nursing theorists regarding a caring attitude, and that it is fundamental to the nurse’s role. No other health care setting presents such limitations to nurses’ free expression of caring. The purpose of this paper is to conduct a review of the literature on how nurses balance the culture of security and the culture of care while delivering health care to inmate-patients in a correctional setting. Analysis It is well documented in the nursing literature that nursing care for prisoners is both complicated and conflicting. These findings clearly stated that the experiences of caring for inmate-patients vary greatly from that of any other health care setting. Both the infrastructure of a prison coupled with its restrictive security element, directly affects how the health care of inmate-patients is delivered. This is in direct correlation with the findings of Mathis & Schoenly, 2008;......

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