The war games involve 1,000 U.S. troops, 600 Georgian troops and smaller numbers from ex-Soviet Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine.
The U.S. military has begun war games in the nation of Georgia, an exercise reportedly planned for months, but which comes just days after Russia announced it will spend half a billion dollars refurbishing its own military bases and strengthening its hold on Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia.
One thousand U.S. troops began a military training exercise in Georgia on Tuesday against a backdrop of growing friction between Georgia and neighboring Russia.
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.
The United States is an ally of Georgia and has irritated Russia by backing Tbilisi’s bid to join the NATO military alliance.