Friday, June 08, 2007

Georgian Parliament approves doubling of force to 2,000 starting September

Above: Georgian Army soldiers from the 22nd Light Infantry Battalion, 2nd Brigade, muster before their battalion commander to commemorate Georgian Independence Day at Forward Operating Base Union last year

Georgia's parliament on Friday overwhelmingly approved President Mikhail Saakashvili's proposal to increase the ex-Soviet republic's military continent in Iraq to 2,000 servicemen, more than doubling its size.

The 145-2 vote underscored the Georgian leadership's dedication to cultivating close ties with the United States. Saakashvili has courted the West and sought to lessen the influence of neighboring giant Russia, which dominated Georgia for most of the past two centuries...

The Defense Ministry said a brigade of 2,000 servicemen will be involved in peacekeeping operations in Kut, 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Baghdad . The additional servicemen are to be sent to Iraq by the end of September, with the first expected to arrive in early July, it said.

Read the rest at AOL News