Monday, August 11, 2008

On Georgia


Since I know very little about Georgia and the Caucasus, I am trying to make sense of the war there from folks who have more experience with the region. Joshua Foust, someone I disagree with on Iraq frequently at A Second Hand Conjecture, has been writing extensively on the region for Registan.net, a site dedicated to Caucasus related issues. Joshua writes:
“It is depressing to see some of the fallout of the fighting in Georgia, whether it is the heartbreaking realization that, no, neither the U.S. nor NATO will militarily intervene with a country they don’t have a treaty with, or the truly horrifying human suffering in both Tskhinvali and now Gori. Making things more depressing is Richard Holbrooke unironically complaining about Russian realpolitik while advocating American realpolitik… to say nothing of McCain’s borderline plagiarism or Obama’s deafening silence or George W. Bush’s bumping in Beijing. I just don’t trust anyone in charge to come up with a decent plan.

And plans need to be made. Saakashvili, politically, is finished. He was baited into a fight the Russians wanted, and he did so believing that NATO and the U.S. would support him and force a pro-Georgian solution. He was possibly tempted into taking action by NATO understandably holding Georgia’s ascension hostage to the resolution of Abkhazia and South Ossetia (no one wants to take on responsibility there), while U.S. arming and support could have convinced him he could “solve” the conflicts more conclusively. On all sides, he was caught out, and took action with no backup plan should his initial thrust be reversed.”

Definitely a site worth checking out.

Michael Totten is also in Azerbaijan, and will be writing about problems in the region at large.

The New Centrist, Marko Hoare, and Bob from Brockley have some information on the conflict from a slightly different perspective, and worth a read.

1 comment:

TNC said...

Thanks for the link.