Stratfor has an interesting article describing the uses to which it's post-Chechen war militias are being put. The article claims that Russia has essentially beaten the Chechen rebellion by using Chechens to fight Chechens, thus anticipating the Anbar awakening -- conceptually at least -- by several years. The problem with setting one side against another -- as Stanley Kurtz notes in his brilliant review of the history of Pakistan's frontier tribes -- is that war, not peace is a permanent condition among them. The victorious tribes must be continuously employed or made to change their ways.
America's new counter-insurgency strategy seeks to appeal to tribal interests, as a way of breaking the link between al-Qaeda's global jihad and its erstwhile Sunni allies in Iraq. So far the new strategy has helped to stabilize Anbar and other rebellious tribal regions in Iraq. The danger is that the tribal winds will shift, and our military will likely come under constant pressure to favor one tribal faction or another. If mishandled, this could drive less favored clans back into enemy hands. Tribal politics can be mastered, yet it requires a constant presence. And learning to play the tribal game is very different from establishing a genuine democracy, which would mean transcending the game itself.
But since the Kremlin has no aspiration to spreading democracy, that sort of angst can be dispensed with in Russia. Stratfor claims they've chosen to solve the problem of what to do with their new Chechen militias by turning them on Georgia, and by implication upon all the recalcitrant bits of the Old Soviet empire. The concept is to utilize the very chaos of generated by the breakup of the Soviet Union to glue it back together again.
It is entirely possible, though not certain, that Russia is now deploying its new pro-Moscow Chechen militia to other places, such as Georgia. ... But such a move would be dangerous for everyone involved, because each time Chechens get involved in other regions' disputes, no side comes out well (except occasionally the Chechens).
Unfortunately the strategy to deal with trouble by exporting troublemakers to the Kremlin's current enemies is likely to suffer from the same defect as Ponzi's original scheme. Sooner or later the pyramid bottoms out. When there are no places left to shift the Chechen militias then the Russians are back to the original problem of solving the Chechen problem from first principles, except that they will have globalized the problem.