Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Georgia Crisis: A Blow to NATO

Blowing in Time
If Russia's brutal response to Georgia's provocation had, in fact, obliged NATO to intervene, the Atlantic Alliance itself might have faced a terminal crisis. Most of its member states have no enthusiasm for confronting a resurgent Russia in the Caucasus, traditionally a Russian sphere of influence. The Alliance, for one thing, is having enough trouble maintaining 71,000 troops in Afghanistan, where they are managing only to tread water against mounting odds. Other arguments against confrontation: much of Western Europe is wholly dependent on Russian energy supplies, and European negotiators believe there is little chance of a diplomatic solution to the Iran nuclear standoff without committed support from Moscow.

So, regardless of the appeals of Senator McCain — and his Democratic opponent, Senator Barack Obama — the events of the past week have more likely placed Georgia's NATO membership in the deep freeze for the foreseeable future, even if the Alliance remains rhetorically committed to the idea in principle. If so, Moscow can count what has transpired as a major victory: it has prevented the advance of a rival military alliance into Russia's backyard.
Since there was nothing else to be done about it, an awful lot of blowing took place in the MSM organs of TPTB this past week. Here's the first of three instances....,