Strategic miscalculations by mattsteinglass
August 12, 2008, 2:24 am
Filed under: Russia

The line for the first 3 days of the Georgia war has been that Saakashvili miscalculated badly if he thought he could grab Ossetia and present Russia with a fait accompli it couldn’t reverse because of Western support. Obviously, an attempt to grab Ossetia would provoke a massive Russian reaction that would prove a net loss for Georgia in the long term.

I would say the narrative may change shortly if Russia actually plans on grabbing much of Georgia, using military presence to install a friendly regime, or whatever. Putin is miscalculating badly if he thinks he can grab Georgia and present NATO with a fait accompli it can’t reverse. Obviously, an attempt to grab Georgia will lead NATO to quickly fast-track membership for every other interested state on the Russian border, and will thus be a net loss for Russia in the long term.


2 Comments so far
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There is no chance NATO will intervene in Georgia or Ukraine. The US is too tied down elsewhere and too much in debt to even consider it. I doubt the US would ever go to war against Russia for Georgia. And contrary to what you may believe, if the US does not “lead” in a military intervention, the UK, France & Germany will not.

Almost all of the remaining states bordering Russia not already in NATO do not have western values, so there is really no chance anytime soon of them joining.

It is not a net loss at all for Russia

Comment by Frank

I agree that there is no chance NATO would “intervene” in Georgia under present conditions (not sure what you mean by “intervene” in Ukraine, since there’s nothing going on there that would necessitate intervention), and I also agree that in the end the Georgia intervention has not been a net loss for Russia. That’s because the Russians have ultimately played it smart: they’ve halted military operations and it looks like they won’t grab territory outside of Ossetia. They’ve made their point and now they will leave Georgians to work out the political consequences of electing a guy Russia doesn’t like, with the expectation that over the long term this will lead to Georgians electing people Russia does like. This is the same way NATO handled Serbia and China handles Taiwan, and it works.

Comment by mattsteinglass

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