Me Too

To conclude this roung of Georgia blogging, I’m just going to quote the two best summations of the situation I’ve seen yet. The first, from Andrew:

The US will do nothing but diplomacy because there is no vital interest at stake in Georgia, and because the US military is completely absorbed in two wars that make this Georgia-Russia conflict a tea-party. Russia knows this; the US knows this; the EU knows this; and the Georgian leadership was too cocky to absorb it.

And from Kevin Drum:

 Unfortunately, there’s a wild card here: the Russians have obviously been itching for war with Georgia for a while, but in the end, it was Georgia that sent troops into South Ossetia first. Did they do this because they felt they had a tacit commitment for help from the United States? Would NATO membership have made Mikheil Saakashvili even more impetuous than he already is?

Hard to say. But one of the reasons we have no formal defense treaty with Taiwan, instead maintaining “strategic ambiguity,” is that we believe it restrains Taiwan’s options. If they were guaranteed American help, they might declare formal independence from China and touch off a war that no one wants. In this case, longstanding U.S. policy holds that the lack of a treaty helps keep the peace.