For those of you who have a casual interest in the Georgia-Russia conflict, here are a couple of links courtesy of Alex the expert that express what I have been saying here with incomparably greater expertise and eloquence: The Belgravia Dispatch (see August 9 and 11 posts, so far) the blog and Fred Kaplan* writing for Slate.
For the sake of cosmic balance, here’s a salvo from the opposite direction by Zbignew Brzezinski, an Obama supporter who has far more gravitas and overall mainstream credibility than your run-of-the-mill neocon. Never having relinquished his deep suspicion of Russia even during the balmiest of the post-Cold War years, he does not even mention NATO, let alone question the decision to expand it up to Russia’s borders and leaving her out in the cold. If pressed, he might argue that it doesn’t matter how we got here, we’re stuck with the Russian threat so let’s deal with it. Which segues into my next point.
The most notable development of late has been the Bush administration’s commitment of troops to Georgia. It does up the ante for any possible Russian ambitions beyond South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Let's hope that the Bush administration uses this improvement in its strategic position to ease tension and ultimately negotiate down NATO expansion and not to see it as just one step in tightening the screws on Russia. The Bush administration's tendency to negotiate only from a position of deteriorating strength suggests that the latter will be the case, which will only help President Saakashvili sustain his fantasies. I hope that I'm wrong.
* A fund manager, a conservative, in Japan stopped writing to me when I defended one of his articles. But that was during the early years of the ongoing war in Iraq.