Moscow has gained leverage, threatened Georgia's pro-West leader, and bolstered national pride.
The new Chief of Staff must overcome a recent pattern of service mismanagement.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's failed attempt to retake South Ossetia may cost him dearly in Georgia, one of the strongest US allies in Russia's backyard.
American effort to spread democracy wanes in post-Iraq era.
The war broadened Monday as Russian troops moved beyond rebel provinces into Georgia proper.
Georgian President Saakashvili called for international mediation over the breakaway region in a conflict some see as East vs. West.