Georgia is to Russia as Colombia is to Venezuela, and Kaidanow spells trouble, analyses Eric Walberg
War clouds refuse to disperse a year after Georgia waged war against Russia. On the anniversary of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s ill-fated invasion of South Ossetia 8 August, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev warned: “Georgia does not stop threatening to restore its ‘territorial integrity’ by force. Armed forces are concentrated at the borders near Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and provocations are committed,” including renewed Georgian shelling of the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali.
What is the result of the Ossetia fiasco? Did Russia “win” or “lose”? Has it put paid to NATO expansion? What lessons did Saakashvili and his Western sponsors learn? Analysts have been sifting through the rubble over the past few weeks.
Some, such as Professor Stephen Blank at the US Army War College, dismiss any claim that Russia was justified in its response, that “even before this war there was no way Georgia was going to get into NATO.” He insists that Russia lost, that its response showed Russian military incompetence and weakness, resulting in huge economic losses, with the EU now seeking alternative energy sources and the US continuing to resist Russian sensitivities in its “near abroad”. Georgetown University Professor Ethan Burger compared the situation to “Germany’s annexation of Czechoslovakia”, with the US playing the role of plucky Britain facing the fascist hordes. Apparently Burger sees the Monroe Doctrine as a one-way street. Tell that to the Hondurans.