An extensive material of a well-known Dutch specialist on Russia from Maastricht, Marcel H. Van Herpen, director of the Cicero Foundation, entitled "2012: A New Assault on Georgia? The Kavkaz 2012 Exercises and Russian War games in the Caucasus", has been published on a research website Europe's World.
The author analyzes the Kavkaz 2012 military exercises. These exercises, planned to take place in September 2012 in the Caucasus, are, according to the Kremlin, a preparation for an eventual Western attack on Iran.
Due to the fact that troops stationed in Armenia and the Georgian breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia will participate, the huge military exercises have been considered by Georgia as a direct threat.
The author argues that the Georgian fear is well founded and analyzes the resemblances and differences with the Kavkaz 2008 exercises that preceded the invasion of Georgia four years ago.
In both cases we find the formulation of a credible pretext and perfect timing. A new element is the fact that the exercises coincide with the parliamentary elections in Georgia in which the Russia-friendly ‘Georgian Dream' coalition of oligarch Ivanishvili plays a role.
The author points also to the possibility of a new land grab in the Southern region of Javakheti where a substantial Armenian minority lives.
Department of Monitoring