Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Truce My Ass

The US is sending military personnel into Georgia for "humanitarian" purposes. Defense Secretary Gates made it clear that there would be no military force. I hope that this will remain the case. I fear what could happen if things heat up too much. It's a small step from humanitarian aid to conflcit as the PAST has shown.

Of course, the Russians are saying that Georgia can "forget about" its territorial integrity and to prove it, they are remaining in Gori and have moved into Poti on the western coast of Georgia. If their claims that they will support the break away regions are true, then they ought to move back into those regions instead of remaining inside Georgian territory and threatening the Georgian population.


The Law Talking Guy said...

We knew about Gori. Russia has been adamant that it is not in Poti. That is the port city. I doubt there is going to any conflict with the USA. Nobody wants that, for one. Also, the Russians are able to tool around Gori and such because the Georgians withdrew, so there's no fighting going on there. so in one sense, the "truce" is still on even though the Russians aren't abiding by the agreement to withdraw. This reminds me of the Russians in Kosovo in 1999 tooling around the Pristina airport and waving victory signs at the Serbs for a couple days after the war ended. Stupid grandstanding, but probably not a prelude to worse. Russia got what it wanted: no Caucasus state is going to challenge it again for a while.

Raised By Republicans said...

Yep. So now we have an intermediate level of sovereignty...You can be fully sovereign, not sovereign at all or you can border Russia.

The Law Talking Guy said...

The position of the EU and the US was that as of December 25, 1991, the USSR dissolved and the 15 constituent republics of the USSR became sovereign with borders inviolate exactly as the USSR had drawn them. That concept was never popular within the frontiers of the USSR. Armenia and Azerbaijan fought for years over a region called Nagorno-Karabakh. Chechens didn't see why they should be assigned to Russia rather than independent. Crimeans didn't see why they should be part of the Ukraine. Russians in eatern Moldova created the Transdniester Republic that remains (like Abkhazia and S. Ossetia) a quasi-independent problematic area. From the Russian point of view, it is not outlandish to question why Georgia has the borders it does. I fully disagree with the Russian position, but I don't think it's necessarily indicative of trying to reestablish 19th century spheres of influence or restoring the entire Russian empire.

At the moment, we have a conflict that is one week old and still in a process of resolution. It looks this morning like a new cease fire will be written to offer Russia the right to take unspoken "security measures" for six months (i.e., what it says it is doing now) in return for withdrawing to its pre-war positions. Russia is playing the game for everything it can get. That is how any IR theorist would expect Russia to act, even if it is not moral behavior.

USwest said...

Yes, the Russians are. And they are doing a very good job of it. And Georgia, with its melodramaic president, is doing the same. Only it has a weaker hand.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Indeed, you've got to hand it to Saakashvili. He's made America forget all about Iraq.