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I'm always leery of claims that the US is arming anyone to the teeth. The last time I had occasion to deal with this kind of fallacy was last August, after the Georgian-Russian mess.

I forget where, but the blanket claim that the US and NATO had armed Georgia had been made, and it simply wan't true. The NATO recommendation, supported by the US, contains one guidline that a military budget shouldn't run more then 2% GDP. This is a NATO requirement. Pre-NATO, Georgian armed forces numbered about 34,000 men. NATO recommended a maximum force size of between 13,000 and 15,000 men, less than half the existing size of the Georgian military. Following these recommendations, Georgia was well on it's way to meeting this goal, with a force size down to about 17,000-18,000. Sometime around 1994, Georgia decided, on its own, to increase it's manpower. Gains in the Georgian economy allowed it to do so without going beyond the NATO 2% rule. Georgia, however went further, and basically rebuilt it's force back to the 34,000 troop level. This was partly due to the Georgian military having nationalized it's National Guard force, which operated as a semi-private militia and is responsible for many of the atrocities committed by the Georgian side in its sad history.

Almost all Georgian military hardware did, in fact, come fron NATO countries, though. Georgia equipped its military on the cheap, from old Warsaw Pact cast-offs.

Georgia launched it's idiotic attack on South Ossetia with Grad rockets (used illegally on civilian targets, and yes, that's a war crime) and T-53 tanks. In the past 10 years, US sales of military materiel consisted of a few helicopters (my understanding is that the number is no more than 6), computers, and communications gear. All in line with the NATO requirements, and intended mostly to enable the Georgian Iraq contingent to evacuate casualties and coordinate its activity with other coalition forces in Iraq.

If the West armed Georgia at all, it was a consequence (perhaps intended) of the modernization of forces of NATO countries that had been equipped with Warsaw Pact materiel.

I don't know enough about the KLA - yet - to speak about how they were armed.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Sat Feb 28th, 2009 at 01:48:09 PM EST
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