Pentagon officials admitted that it was Tbilisi that started the hostilities attacking
The U.S. acknowledged for the first time that it was the Georgian army that prompted
the conflict in South Ossetia
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives held hearings on the recent war in Georgia. During the debates high-ranking State Department and Pentagon officials actually admitted that it was Tbilisi that started the hostilities attacking South Ossetia. This said, Washington virtually acknowledged the chronology Russia regards real. However, it would be untimely for Moscow to triumph. American military and diplomats still consider Russia’s reaction “disproportionate” calling on to counter the Kremlin’s “imperial reach”.
First the developments in the Caucasus were thrashed out in the Senate Standing Committee on Armed services. Eric S. Edelman, the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (Department of Defense), and Daniel Fried, the Assistant Secretary at Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (Department of State) were invited to participate in the discussion. Mr Edelman’s address was the most surprising. “Although much is still unclear, it appears the Georgians conducted what they thought was a limited military operation with the political aim of restoring Georgian sovereignty over South Ossetia,” he told the Senators. “The Georgian leadership’s decision to employ force in the conflict zone was unwise. The use of artillery fire and multiple launched rockets into urban areas and into the proximity of Russian peacekeepers is lamentable, and we do not condone this activity.”
However, admitting Georgia’s attack on Tskhinvali, Washington doesn’t renounce its view of Russia’s line as “aggressive”. “The U.S. shows support for Georgia’s security, independence, and territorial integrity. U.S. policy is to demonstrate to Russia that its aggressive actions do not serve its national interest, will not be tolerated, and will not be cost free,” Mr Edelman stated.