In recent years the United States and a handful of its western allies have fostered closer military and political ties to Georgia, going as far as promoting Georgia’s membership in NATO. In the wake of Russia’s determination to maintain a strong position in the Caucasus, western leaders should now wonder if their Georgia policy has been too rash, says Alessandro Bruno of Geopoliticalmonitor.com.
The Russian response to Georgia’s attack on Tskhinvali in 2008, an attempt to quell autonomist demands from the pro-Russian population of South Ossetia, was predictable. It signaled that Russia will take military action to protect ethnic Russians living in areas of foreign countries. This is of great importance to Western strategic interests because it suggests that, if it feels threatened, Russia will take control or cut off the oil and gas pipelines transferring Caspian resources to Europe.