I told you so
I am not a political scientist, but the terms 'I told you so' come to mind.
The United States and West needed to respond to the horrific and immoral 911 attacks, and invading Afghanistan was seemingly the most reasonable move. Iraq remains a much more questionable military operation. All along I have thought that although terrorism is a threat to Western safety, the greatest external human (we may self-destruct) potential threats to our Western freedom are from Russia and China. Seemingly more from Russia, as the country has not integrated as a fully democratic country into the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and Europe is a buffer between North America and Russia and the East. China has historically, under communism, not been as interested in invading other countries.
The country of Georgia did apply for membership in NATO previously:
NATO: Georgia Must Improve Ties with Russia Before Entering Alliance
By VOA News
17 October 2006
A senior NATO military officer says Georgia must improve relations with Russia and work to resolve its internal conflicts, if it is to gain entry into the Atlantic alliance.
Canadian General Raymond Henault's comments came Tuesday in Moscow, where he met with top Russian military and political officials.
Russian-Georgian relations are expected to be a key topic later this week, when European leaders meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland.
Georgia applied for NATO membership after reformist President Mikhail Saakashvili assumed office in 2004.
Tensions between Georgia and Russia increased sharply after the Georgians last month briefly detained four Russian army officers on spy charges. The arrests prompted Moscow to close some Georgian-owned businesses in Moscow, and to begin expelling Georgian nationals from the country.
Georgia, for its part, announced plans to block Russian efforts for Word Trade Organization membership.
Georgia accuses Russian peacekeepers of backing pro-Russian separatists in its two breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The areas declared independence after fighting in the early 1990s. Georgia vows to bring both areas back under its control.
I am not claiming to be expert on the Georgia-Russia war, and am not taking Georgia's side. But, when I see Russia's further move into Georgia today, I wonder if Russia is not interested in reestablishing dominance in Eastern Europe. I realize there is a dispute and it is not a clear-cut case. This is from CNN.
The French-brokered deal allows Russian peacekeepers to "implement additional security measures" until international security can be put in place.
That could be interpreted by Russia as operations outside South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the two disputed border regions at the heart of the conflict. Russia had peacekeeping troops in those regions before last week.
There are reports of Russian troops advancing into Georgia rather than following a ceasefire agreement. From the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:
In a day of conflicting news, there are reports that Russian troops are advancing rather than pulling back in parts of Georgia, hanging on to the key central city of Gori and sending forces to the Black Sea oil port of Poti.
"At the moment, Georgian territory remains occupied by Russian armed forces," Irakli Alasania, the Georgian ambassador to the UN, told reporters in New York. "Georgian cities remain to be subject to the hostile and aggressive behaviour of Russian military."
He said Russia is violating the ceasefire agreement and accused Russian troops of "looting, murder and destruction."
A French-brokered ceasefire agreement called for both sides to pull back to positions they held before the fighting started last Friday. When Georgia sent troops to try to retake the Russian-dominated breakaway region of South Ossetia, Russia pushed them back and advanced far into undisputed Georgian territory...
At the Pentagon, a U.S. general said the Russians seem to be moving back to positions from which they can start to make an orderly exit. But a U.S. diplomat in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, said reports on the ground are contradictory...
In another development, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters that "one can forget about any talk about Georgia's territorial integrity" in South Ossetia and another Russian-dominated separatist region, Abkhazia, suggesting that Russia might absorb them...
In Washington, U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates, rejected the idea that Washington emboldened Georgia to defy Russia by pushing for Georgian membership in NATO.
A list of NATO members:
...the organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.
It appears NATO did not want to battle Russia in war over Georgia and therefore did not allow Georgia into NATO, where NATO would be legally obligated to offer military resistance to Georgia in this current conflict. I wonder if with this current Russian move into Georgia, NATO member countries and the United States in particular, will see Eastern Europe as less secure than thought and focus more on defence closer to home and less on Middle Eastern exploits.
The former Soviet Republic of Georgia. The Georgia under attack.
Georgia, USA. Not under attack.
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