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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

McCain wins the other Georgia

(image lifted from

It's totally understandable really. In a country with a street named after George W Bush, you can't really expect it to pull for a democrat. You can also look at it another way.

In 1997 Georgia received a measly $700,000 from the largest U.S. military aid program, Foreign Military Financing (FMF). Although the number rapidly increased to a respectable $5.3 million, the floodgates opened under Bush. Since 1997, Georgia has received $79,390,000 million in FMF grants, not to mention the additional $12 million Bush requested to the 2006 budget. That's just FMF grants.

Bush allocated $64 million to train and equip Georgia’s soldiers (GTEP)to fight invisible al-Qaida terrorists in Pankisi Gorge. The next thing was to prepare Georgians to come help fight terrorism in Iraq etc. The first Sustainment and Stability Operations Program (SSOP) cost $60 million and we can expect the second installment cost about the same.

As for social/economic/democracy development money, Between October 2004 and September 2005 alone, $138 million was budgeted by the US for assistance programs to Georgia. This was immediately followed by George W Bush’s Millennium Challenge Corporation, chaired by Condoleezza Rice, which signed a five-year $295.3 million grant to “ reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth” outside of Tbilisi.

And don't forget Dick Cheney's promise of $1 billion post-war aid.

Now you have to ask, if Putin had been this generous over the past 8 years, mightn't the people of Georgia support his chosen successor?

Anyway, my CSM piece is HERE