Bjørnen og løven. Russisk og georgisk bruk av militærmakt anno 2008
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- Forsvarets høgskole 
This thesis aims at highlighting important military aspects of the war between Georgia and Russia in August 2008. This war is interesting because it’s the most recent example of conventional military power being used by a great power against a small neighbour, and it indicates that conventional military operations still has utility. In august 2008 Georgian armed forces entered the core area of one of the separation movements within Georgia – South Ossetia – based on the assessment that the Georgians living in South Ossetia was threatened by South Ossetian militia and a Russian invasion. This triggered a Russian attack that threw the Georgians out of South Ossetia and inflicted heavy military and civilian losses. Russia employed land, air, and naval units outnumbering the Georgian forces, and with a greater capability span. Georgia defended itself with all means, but still suffered a distinct defeat. That defeat has major impact on the ongoing rebuilding and development of the Georgian armed forces, as territorial defence has been put above NATO integration and participation in operations abroad. Russia is also using lessons learned from 2008 in the ongoing development of its armed forces. Apart from the consequences of having more forces and a greater span of capabilities, the war confirmed the need for painstaking preparations; a full understanding of the situation based on sound intelligence; a well functioning command and control system; and synergy through combined arms and joint operations. Some aspects of the war should be subject to further studies; foremost air power versus air defence; satellite navigation; utilising positive and avoiding negative asymmetries; and early warning on a strategic level.