Are We To Blame?

Obviously tensions have been running high around South Ossetia for over a decade, but obviously something ratcheted up tensions of late. So one of the hot questions floating around under the radar is whether the United States deserves a portion of the blame, and how much. Myanswer is, in a word, a lot.

I don’t think many people would argue with the statement that increased tensions have been primarily the result of the specter of Georgian membership in NATO, that Russia obviusly opposed. Thankfully the majority of NATO members were sensible and denied Georgia membership, but the United States pushed hard for Georgian membership, including Article V security guarantees. What exactly does that say to Georgia if not that the United States is willing to intervene on your behalf? I’d say you’d have a tough time arguing that our recent stance towards Georgia didn’t go a long way in encouraging their leadership to take on the Russians in the disputed territory, and they certainly had very good reason to assume the US would back them up. Obviously we weren’t going to do that, especially not with Georgia acting as the instigator of the conflict, but that’s why we ought to give at least a small amount of thought to the consequences of our actions and signals abroad. But that’s not really possible with Republicans running things.