Georgian troops in Afghanistan

March 19th, 2012  

Topic: Georgian troops in Afghanistan

High-ranking military officials emphasize that Georgia has the highest number of soldiers in Afghanistan among non-NATO member countries. Since 2009, 15 Georgian soldiers have been killed. President Saakashvili visits wounded (exact number unknown) soldiers and plans to increase the number of troops up to 2,000. But why? The US plan to retreat from Afghanistan till the end of 2014. Everyone understands that the war is nearly lost and the presence of NATO just angers insurgents and encourages Taliban to fight back. So what is the reason for Saakashvili to send his people right into the dragon's lair? The answer is simple: Georgia ambitiously strives to become a NATO member. It 'grants' security and improves Saakashvili's position in the global arena. But is it a good enough reason to make your own soldiers act as a cannon fodder? Until recently, deployment to Afghanistan was a voluntary decision, but now soldiers who refuse to go are fined and risk damaging their careers. So certain questions arise: Is Georgia needed in NATO? Are Georgian aspirations decent and honest? Is being a NATO member beneficial or is it a waste of peoples' lives?

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