Saturday, 17 October 2009

Issues Points Memo for South Ossetia & Abkhazia‏

  • Nicolai N. Petro, Professor of Political Science, University of Rhode Island - “…it seems breathtakingly cynical to recognize the Tbilisi regime's jurisdiction over a population to whom it had denied the basic benefits of Georgian citizenship, then punished with an embargo for having accepted Russian citizenship to survive, and finally, assaulted militarily during the night of 7/8 August 2008…”

  • Charles King, Chair of the Faculty and a Professor at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, writing in Foreign Affairs - “…In the case of Abkhazia and South Ossetia before August 2008, however, Western governments unquestionably adopted Georgia’s position in these disputes, making little effort to see things in more nuanced, multifaceted ways; this approach helped push the Saakashvili government into believing that it could claw back South Ossetia in a quick war…”

  • Doug Bandow, the Cato Institute - “…Washington’s support for the Georgian government probably encouraged Saakashvili to attempt the military conquest of South Ossetia, which had seceded with Russia’s assistance. After all, you are likely to take far greater risks if you believe the U.S. has your back. And, if he was willing to start a war in expectation of U.S. military support against Moscow outside NATO, imagine what he would do with his nation as a member of NATO…”

  • Jörg Himmelreich, senior trans-Atlantic fellow, George Marshall Fund - “…A rethinking of U.S. diplomacy toward Georgia is urgently needed…”

  • Jeremy Drucker, Editor-in-Chief, Transistions Online, writing in International Relations and Security Network - “…public confirmation by an independent committee that Georgia has officially misrepresented its war-time actions might be just what those bureaucrats in the US State Department need to humble the notoriously arrogant Saakashvili — and yet another reason for giving Georgia a more modest (and appropriate) place in US foreign policy and not the centerpiece prominence it once had…”

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