Monday, September 15, 2008

The Caucasian Test Case

Today, the first more comprehensive analysis of the Russo-Georgian war in August 2008 was published, less than a month after hostilities ended. In its report Det kaukasiska lackmustestet (The Caucasian Test Case), the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) summarises its findings.

The war between Georgia and Russia in August 2008 has fundamentally changed the playing field of international relations and the aftermath of the war will have profound consequences.

The purpose of this study is to analyze some central issues and implications of the war. The aim is to, shortly after the war and based on open sources material, draw some tentative conclusions regarding the consequences for the region and the world.

The primary conclusion is that Russia’s actions have triggered a far-reachingreassessment of the present world order. This will in turn lead to extensive policy changes at different levels as the actors adapt and try to influence the formation of the new world order. The war has laid bare the challenges and problems of the present international system. Responses to Russia’s actions will give an early
indication of the character and modus operandi of the coming world order.
My own contribution is a chapter on the information and cyberwar aspects (pp. 45-52).

Bibliographical information is as follows:
Det kaukasiska lackmustestet: Konsekvenser och lärdomar av det rysk-georgiska kriget i augusti 2008

[The Caucasian Test Case: Consequences and lessons Learned of the Russian-Georgian War in August 2008].

Robert L. Larsson (ed.), Alexander Atarodi, Eva Hagström Frisell, Jakob Hedenskog, Jerker Hellström, Jan Knoph, Vilhelm Konnander, Jan Leijonhielm, David Lindahl, Fredrik Lindvall, Johannes Malminen, Ingmar Oldberg, Fredrik Westerlund, Mike Winnerstig

The report in full [SWE] is available for download or purchase at the FOI website.
"Ryssen valde väg i Georgien. Fel väg!", Svenska Dagbladet, 15 September 2008.
"Analysts Call Russia-Georgia Conflict a 'Litmus Test'", Deutsche Welle, 16 September 2008.
"Ryssland ett växande hot mot sina grannar", Hufvudstadsbladet, 16 september 2008.
"Ny FOI-rapport speglar säkerhetspolitiska läget", Västerbottenskuriren, 17 september 2008.
"Säkerhetspolitiken i Europa är försämrad", Världen idag, 17 september 2008.


Anonymous said...

Will it become available in English in part or in full? If so, when?

Vilhelm Konnander said...

Dear Vitaliy,

I honestly do not think it will ever be translated into English. That is, of course, regrettable but I guess it is basically a financial issue.



Eistein G. said...

Dear Vilhelm
Indeed interesting to finally find some research on this very important issue. I will read the report in detail this week end.

From my professional point of view I especially look forward to your chapter on cyberwars.

I guess this is also interesting read for our Forreign minister Gahr Støre and our "wonderboy" in the defencedepartment Espen Barth Eide. Today Russia claimed 18% of the Arktis ( as far as i understood. That shopuld revitalize the 40 year old negotiations / territorial dispute with the Russians in the Barentssea. I guess we're in for a rough ride.

UkraineToday said...

How much of Saakashvili's plan failed? And what do you think his objectives were?

It has become clear now that the smoke and emotion has lifted that Georgia provoked the war. Whilst some might say that It is Georgia's right of sovereignty but does that give them the right to breach international peace agreements? What about Saddam Hussein's attacks on the kurdish population? Or Indonesia's attack on East Timor? How soon,if at all would NATO or the UN reacted to protect the lives of the South Ossetia from the Georgian Government.

How much of the planning was designed to test and assess the reaction of the Russian Government and its military response?

I am sure NATO would respond if their peacekeepers were attacked in such a way.

Saakashvili has tried to use this war as a means of pressuring NATO to grant it membership. Does not NATO have a policy that membership is not granted to states that have an ongoing conflict with their neighbours?


What concerned equally if not more was the irresponsible provocation and unbalanced reaction of Ukraine's President. This was definitely one occasion where Yulia Tymoshenko performed appropriately as explained in Hryhoriy(Gregory) Nemyria interview with the BBC.

I found it alarming that Yushchenko as a head of state would react in such irresponsible and ill considered manner, clearly not having made the appropriate assessment or reaction to events --Thankfully most people no longer consider Yushchenko as someone with any credibility(His support dropping to below 5% in Ukraine and chances he will not see out his term of office as his support continues to decline)

Report published in Ukraine is that the US is bullying other NATO member states into accepting Georgia and Ukraine(The former against the people's will)into becoming a member state.

It is also worth noting here that Yushchenko deliberately kept mixing issues and he tied to connect NATO membership with EU membership and integration. The use of the term "pro-West" is prominent in his speeches and rhetoric. It should be noted that Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and Austria and not members of NATO.

NATO has breached its undertaking and International agreement on its expansion. By doing so they have seriously undermined trust and stability in the region.

A further issue of concern is Yushchenko's attempts to connect dots and falsely associate the current political crisis in Ukraine to the Georgian Russian conflict. (Again the false use of the stereotype "Pro West pro Russia conflict")

As is always the case one needs to seriously question any reports and assessment coming out Britain or broadcast on the BBC. (Bias Broadcasting Corp).

The political crisis and conflict in Ukraine is not a "West" versus Russia" conflict. It is a struggle of power between the authoritative rule by Presidential decree and Ukraine's democratic Parliamentary majority. Yushchenko and his political Party Our Ukraine desperately hanging on to Soviet style presidential rule and opposing Ukraine adopting a European style Parliamentary system of governance. (Again I refer your readers to the comments made by Hryhoriy(Gregory) Nemyria.

Natali Dali from AbaNDa SHAKE said...

Dear Vilhelm,

Let me introduce myself: I'm Natali Dali at (Ukraine) and I'd like to ask you for some a small assistance, if it's ok with you. :)

Looking forward to hearing from you.

My email:

Thank you in advance!

Amanda said...

Clearly, attribution will be difficult to prove. but there are significant possible implications, beyond further proof that cyber warfare is becoming a part of mainstream international conflict.