Thursday, August 14, 2008

Is Condi Preparing To Sell Out Georgia?

In response to President Bush's Rose Garden Speech demanding that the Russians pull their combat troops out of Georgia, the Russians responded that there was no way they would pull out of the to Russian sponsored breakaway regions of South Ossetia or Abkhazia.

And it looks like the Russians may get what they wanted. According to this report,Russia won major concesssions in a new Georgia truce agreement that US Secretary of State Condi Rice is supposedly going to elbow Georgian Presidetn Saakashvili to sign.

The new agreement is fairly similar to the one French President Sarkozy engineered before ( and that the Russians never abided by)and requires Russia to withdraw all of its combat forces from Georgia including the Georgian province of Abkhazia but gives Russian peacekeepers the right to patrol beyond the South Ossetia border into Georgia for a distance of ten kilometers.

The fact that Sarkozy engineered this an dis still sticking to th estory that once Saakashvili signs this all will be well is cause enough for concern.Apparently there are still some grim details to be worked out regarding exactly what rights Georgia is conceding to the Russians for those `patrol rights' in their country.

The U.S. officials acknowledged the solution was not perfect, but said their primary goal is to get Russian combat forces out of Georgia as quickly as possible and that they would only accept the expanded patrol mandate if they were limited, well defined and temporary.

"It can't be open-ended, either geographically or in time," one official said. "It has to be circumscribed and its got to be in the context of the Russians withdrawing all their armed forces."

Russian patrols outside South Ossetia proper would stop once a new international peacekeeping and monitoring force is in place, the official said, adding that the Russians would not be allowed to use the 10-kilometer band "to impede legitimate Georgian movement."

Sounds a lot like Condi's wonderful solution on Lebanon to me. Not good.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't like this agreement bu it might be workable, if there were some mechanism to ensure Russian compliance. The problem we may run into is the same one we had in Lebanon. In that case the Islamic terrorists never complied with the agreement. In this case, how do you ensure Russian compliance?

As for the US and Georgia, the US and international news media place the US and its allies under intense scrutiny, as such the US and Georgia would have no choice but to comply even if they did not want to. Russia's lackeys in the US and international news media as well as within the US government beuraracy will cover for them regardless what they do. I see no way to ensure Russian compliance with any cease fire or peace arrangement. Before I would agree to anything with the Russians there would need to be some way to ensure Russian compliance. Right now I don't see what it would be.

As things stand now, it appears NATO is all but dead. Georgia was a de facto member of the alliance. It was attacked and no attempt was made by other NATO members to come to its aid. Also, for the most part, NATO countries have failed to honor their committments to Afghanistan.

Former Soviet Republics know that Russia wants to reestablish the Soviet Empire. As such, it makes sense for them to seek an alliance with NATO. These countries also know that attempts to defend themselves via NATO will only inflame Russia more. Now we have seen that NATO has not come to the aid of a de facto member when Russia attacks. As it stands now, it would appear that joining NATO has negative utility. I look for Ukraine and others to be making alternative arrangements for their security. Perhaps they will submit to Russia and not join NATO. In exchange their infrastructure does not get bombed.

Western European members of NATO are probably looking at this as well. Knowing that the USA is the main contributore to NATO and seeing that America has, to date, not honored its commitment to a de facto member they are probably looking at alrternative options as well. Perhaps they will choose the same approach as the former Soviet Republics or they may look to expand their own armed forces apart from NATO.

As it stands now, NATO appearst o have negative utility. Unless things change NATO is probably finished. Oh well, on the plus side, US troops stationed in Europe get to come home.