The SCO held an elaborate arms expo/anti-terrorist exercise over the weekend, essentially allowing Chinese generals to test drive all the new toys Russia intendeds to sell them next year. The affair quickly descended into hillarity. Kommersant's lead was priceless...
"....About 6000 soldiers from SCO member states Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are participating in the exercise. Their initial efforts at staging an antiterrorist operation were hampered by the language barrier and the lack of clean water and toilets." Other highlights included:
- The promised Russian-Chinese airborne drop didn't happen. Instead empty Ilyushin-76MD's did a low fly-over of the exercise area.
- The Chinese refused to airlift their own troops and equipment, saying that the terrain was "unfamiliar."
- Tajik and Kyrgyz units did not take part in the joint training on August 6, as they arrived a day late and were forced to sit around and watch.
- Russian Chief of the General Staff Yuri Baluyevsky expounding on his belief that democracy was the region's largest security threat.