On June 28, 1914, Europe began it's decline into a state of continental war that would become, at the end, the most costly and devastating war to ever face the world. Even with the American entrance into the conflict in 1918, many Americans weren't sure why the U.S. was involving itself in a European conflict. And a great many Americans still weren't exactly sure what had started the war to begin with.
It's a century later, nearly, and until a few days ago, the vast majority of Americans really didn't have a clue that there was a problem in the former Soviet satellite nation of Georgia, let alone having any knowledge of a region known as South Ossetia. Yet once again the less well known regions of Europe have engaged the attention of the world as they become an object of turmoil and strife. The reason? South Ossetia has been seeking to break away from Georgia, as a large percentage of the population of the region are ethnic Russians, and wish for closer ties to Moscow than to Tbilisi. Or at least, that's what the Russians claim.
To some in the west, Russia has proven itself, at the governmental level, not to be trusted at their word. With the claims of having given cease-fire orders to their forces that rolled into the region on the one hand, and the first-hand accounts of Russian armor rolling into flanking positions around key Georgian cities, the bombing of the infrastructure (communication facilities and the like), and the sinking of Georgian ships by Russian warships, one can only speculate as to the long term goal of the Russian government. Georgia was, after all, one of the nations that made up the former Soviet Union, and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was a member at one time of the KGB's "Fifth Directorate," which focused on political dissenters against Soviet policy, as well as having worked in the KGB's foreign intelligence divisions. Relevant? Perhaps not, unless one looks at the documented history of the practice of disinformation practiced by the KGB and Soviet Union throughout the years. To be fair, the United States and other western nations have practiced this method through the years, as well, but in this case it is Russia that is claiming non aggression at the governmental level while Russian troops have been occupying Georgian sovereign soil.
There will be, and probably are already, those who shrug their shoulders and proclaim, "It's no different from the United States invading Iraq and Afghanistan." In the case of the United States in regards to both Afghanistan and Iraq, there was evidence that has been documented and gone over ad nauseum to show terrorist activities being sponsored by or supported by both countries. Ethnic Russians living in the nation of Georgia are citizens of Georgia, not mother Russia, and the conflict that was brewing between South Ossetia and Tbilisi was an internal matter, not something for Russia to become, legally, involved in, which leads to the question; is the world witnessing the awakening of the Russian bear after a period of hibernation?
Once and Always, an American Fighting Man