Let’s take a moment to consider this para from Doug’s (the Doug in Tbilisi, that is) first post.
Second, what will the Americans and EU do? A senior State Department figure was here in Tbilisi last week, and I would expect that the Georgian side at least hinted very broadly about what was up. He would have to deny that, of course, in the way of these things. We can assume that the Americans did not warn them off.
If true, this has to be one of the most indefensible things the Bush Administration has done in the last few years. Saakashvili took a reckless gamble, and it didn’t work out.
The Americans have more or less encouraged Saakashvili’s dangerously confrontational approach to Russia, and have given them hopes of NATO membership, which was never going to happen. They may also have had unrealistic expectations about US support in the event of a war. This war would likely never have happened if the US had discouraged the Georgians [update: in the last few years. Not saying the low level visit last week was crucial, rather than telling.] The result is an probable own goal by the Bushies. In Rob Farley’s words:
Hegemony or no, the United States will have been unable to give significant military aid to an Iraq War ally facing the prospect of interstate war.” More seriously. This isn’t the end of the world, but it’s not great.
But for the people of Georgia, it’s a lot worse than “not great”.
…8th Circle disagrees.