Friday, August 15, 2008
Out of Steam
A lot of hot air released over the last week; let's see where we are now. Another attempt at a cease-fire in Georgia, perhaps more likely to hold, and become the prevailing status quo (no Russian presence in most of Georgia proper, but Russia solidifies its presence in Ossetia and Abkhazia). A cold peace with occasional hot flashes descends.
The U.S. moves away from trying to balance between cultivating its new allies and preserving good ties with Russia. What was striking to me about the signing of the missile defense deal in Poland is that this time, there was no pushback or real efforts by Washington to talk down or dismiss claims coming from Poland that the missile system and its attendant facilities may in fact be directed not just at rogue Iranians but at Russia itself. Doubt also that the U.S. in future will try to segregate its Georgia train and equip program and say this is just to deal with terrorism, not with efforts to regain control over all of Georgia's territory.
But the U.S. won't invest in the effort to build up a counter-balance to Russia among what's left of the GUAM framework, so Georgia will limp along and Ukraine will continue to teeter on the balance between west and east.
There'll be continued trans-Atlantic discord on this issue; whether it spills over and affects other parts of the relationship has yet to be seen. Merkel and McCain don't seem to have as much common ground on Russia, for instance.
All of this gets handed to a new administration in January 2009, but between now and then lines and positions will solidify.
Probably just as well, because anyone with brain activity superior to that of a potted plant knew these things were directed at Russia, and the transparent lies the USG told about lots of stuff like this is a big reason the RF government just dosen't care what the USG think. It's been evident that the USG were an enemy to Russia for some time now