In Georgia, Russia retaliates for Kosovo
Last February, I asked whether the EU and the U.S. should have been more cautious in their support for Kosovar independence, noting that:
In response to Kosovo's declaration, Russia has threatened to make mischief not only in the Balkans, but also in the Russian "near abroad" by supporting separatists in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which are currently ruled by the former Soviet republic of Georgia.This week, Russia made good on its threat, and now the Bush administration and our Western allies are trying to pretend that they were caught off guard.
That's not to say that Russia's invasion of Georgia was justified. It wasn't. But in this geopolitical chess game in which Georgia has now become a mere pawn, our recklessness in failing to take Russia at its word has now resulted in a diplomatic crisis and a serious blow to NATO's credibility. If the West is determined to tame the Russian bear, we're gonna have to do better than this.