The day before the NATO-Russia Council meeting, where Russia was outnumbered 28-1, U.S. President Obama met privately with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, Russia's Public Enemy No. 1 as military analyst Alexander Golts described him on the occasion.
Saakashvili, who was educated in the U.S. on a State Department fellowship and came to power through a U.S.-sponsored coup in 2003 which its perpetrators termed the Rose Revolution, ordered sniper and mortar attacks on South Ossetia on August 1, 2008, killing six people including a Russian peacekeeper. The day after the Immediate Response 2008 NATO war games led by 1,000 U.S. troops had ended and with American soldiers and military equipment still in Georgia.
Six days later, as the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games was underway in Beijing, Georgia launched an all-out assault on the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali.
By the time Russian reinforcements beat back the Georgian offensive and the war ended five days after it had begun, 64 Russian service members had been killed and 323 wounded. The U.S. provided military transport planes to bring 2,000 Georgian troops back from Iraq for the fighting.
Shortly afterward the U.S. rewarded Georgia with the signing of the United States-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership and NATO formed the NATO-Georgia Commission, out of which an individually tailored Annual National Program(me) was created to further Georgia's integration into the North Atlantic Alliance.