Participation Of Georgian Military Forces In International Iraq Peace Building Operation (2003-2008)
From the moment when Georgia declared independence, clear and straightforward political course has been drawn to connect the country to western reality. In 1992 Georgia joined North Atlantic Cooperation Council. Within 5 years, in 1997, NACC was transformed into the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. From the very same moment, the relationship with one of the most important and vital partners, Unites States of America, unfolded successfully. Further, in 2001, this relationship adopted to a new reality, and the cooperation in defense and security fields deepened between two countries. This is the year when Georgia joined a global war on terror after the horrific terrorist attack on American nation on the 11th of September. Following the mutual agreement, Georgian military forces entered peacekeeping missions and were stationed in different hot spots worldwide.
The purpose of the paper, on the one hand, is to describe a significant role of Georgian military forces in peace building after 2003 Iraq war, between years 2003-2008. On the other hand, our aim is to depict rather difficult and safety endangering post war situation in Iraq, when Georgian Forces were sent as valuable members of “Multi-national forces – Iraq.”
On March 19, 2003, American military forces successfully continued the operation “Iraqi Freedom” and entered Iraq. Within 21 days, almost the whole country was under control of the USA. Despite military strategic or tactical success, it appeared to be a classical example of “how you can win the war but lose the peace”, as Paddy Ashdown of Telegraph mentioned. US Military Central Command and White House found themselves dealing with dozens of problems, which required vast amount of resources and time to be solved. Therefore, our paper outlines major problematic areas in Iraq – marauders, uprisings, terrorist attacks both on United Nations representatives and military personnel, involvement of Iran in internal Iraqi politics and disrupting peacebuilding operations of international forces. In addition, we will discuss the contribution of several influential military-political leaders to the ongoing processes.
Furthermore, contribution of the Unites States to the development of the Georgian Military Forces will be also shown in this paper. Following 11/09/2001 al-Qaeda terrorist attacks, Georgia decided to join a Global War on Terror in 2002. The United States initiated the “Georgian Train and Equip Program,” which later became a basement for the “Georgian Sustainment and Stability Operations Program.” Both initiatives trained Georgian Forces to deal with internal and international threats. Based on the Ministry of Defense of Georgia, 17 deployments of various nature were sent to Iraq totaling 8 495 proud servicemen participating in peacekeeping operations. Thus, Georgia became one of the important non-NATO contributors to the “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” At that time, the ongoing operation was disrupted by August 2008 Russian military occupation of Georgia as remaining forces were immediately sent back to defend the country.