Recently, the Georgian Times published an article on a poll recently conducted by GORBI of Georgian Troops in Iraq. According to the article, this is the first poll conducted amongst these soldiers.
The article highlights that troops continue to have very positive feelings towards their tenure in Iraq and agree with Saakashvili sending them there. According to the poll, 89% are satisfied with the current conditions and 93% are satisfied with their training.
This data may point to the professionalization of the Georgian army. Interestingly, according to a poll done by the Military Times (no ability to rate its quality) at the end of 2007, 80% of American troops, still say they are "somewhat" or "completely" satisfied with their jobs. This is despite the fact that now more than half of troops believe that America should not have gone to war.
Georgian citizens, however, like American citizens and unlike the Georgian troops generally do not support troop involvement in Iraq and often possess cynical views of America "buying cheap Georgian cannon fodder" type.
The article, however, opens several interesting research questions.
- Why do Georgian troops have such a positive attitude towards serving in Iraq? I think there may be several unexpected answers to this question, which involve exposure to different troops (i.e. Americans and Brits) and the benefits and salaries these soldiers receive compared to what the receive back home. Or maybe, they just have the feeling that they are serving a useful purpose. Feedback welcome.
- Interestingly, the questionnaire used by GORBI was a self-completion questionnaire. Our experience is that these type of questionnaires work poorly with Georgians, as there is no tradition of filling them out. We wonder how this worked with the Georgian troops.