On the night of Thursday, Aug. 7, forces of the Republic of Georgia drove across the border of South Ossetia, a secessionist region of Georgia that has functioned as an independent entity since the fall of the Soviet Union. The forces drove on to the capital, Tskhinvali, which is close to the border. Georgian forces got bogged down while trying to take the city. In spite of heavy fighting, they never fully secured the city, nor the rest of South Ossetia. On the morning of Aug. 8, Russian forces entered South Ossetia, using armored and motorized infantry forces along with air power.
The Russians were ready. Was the United States?
See the analysis at the STRATFOR web site.