"Officials said the exercise, called "Immediate Response 2008", had been planned for months and was not linked to a stand-off between Moscow and Tbilisi over two Russian-backed separatists regions of Georgia."
In early April/08, NATO said no to the inclusion of Georgia this could not have sat well with the Bush administration, then 'tensions' began to escalate, greatly, between Russia and Georgia. So, indeed, Georgia and the US did have months to plan for this exercise.
The war games include 1000 US troops and 600 Georgian troops and smaller numbers from ex-Soviet Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine.
Meanwhile in the Ukraine... protesters are out as NATO launches exercises in Ukraine's Black Sea port of Odessa near the Russian border.
It's interesting to note, that Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan are part of a larger group, founded in 2000, known as GUUAM.
GUUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldova) Group was formally founded as a political, economic and strategic alliance designed to strengthen the independence and sovereignty of these former Soviet Union republics.
JOINT EFFORTS ON BEHALF OF ENERGY PRODUCTION In October, 1998, the chief delegates of the GUAM countries, who participated in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Annual Meeting met at the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington D.C., and issued a joint statement announcing the four countries’ determination to work together on four goals: (1) to minimize the effect of the Russian financial crisis on their countries; (2) to support each other against “growing challenges to regional security and stability;” (3) to cooperate with each other and international partners in the Europe-South Caucasus-Central Asia transit corridor project; and (4) to jointly lobby for accelerated development of Caspian oil deposits and the construction of multiple pipelines directly to international markets.
Why is it , everywhere I look, I come across concerns for oil and pipelines?
No one ever really talks about world peace, it always oil, pipelines, routes for, control of the resource of oil.