Dear La Russophobe,
As always, “La Russophobe” is the best place to get all the relevant facts of the Georgia crisis.
Given that the governments of Western Europe, and indeed, sadly, our own, are unwilling to take meaningful military action to protect Georgia’s territorial integrity, I’ve been wondering what can be done to come out of this crisis with Russia genuinely put in check.
I’m curious about your opinion on what may be both a realistic and an effective way forward. While I’m loathe to suggest it, the best option I see is as follows: Have Georgia let go of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and then, have NATO fast-track Georgia and Ukraine in. I’m talking a matter of weeks, not years.
Again, I hate to have Georgia make the territorial concession. They are Georgian territory. But let’s be honest: They’re packed to the gills with Russians and even more Russians pretending to be Abkhazians and Ossetians. Even if Russia backed off to the status quo ante, it would still take years, possibly generations, for Georgia to come up with a successful integration arrangement. Sadly, it might even be impossible, because we know well that even in the status quo ante, Russia was running guns to the “Abkhazian” and “Ossetian” “separatists” (aka Russian criminals and terrorists). From an economic and military perspective, there’s very little that these territories have to offer Georgia.
But on the flipside, Georgian and Ukrainian accession to NATO in quick order is infinitely more valuable to Tbilisi (and Kyiv, for that matter) than these two thug-ridden backwaters. And for the both of them to be members of NATO is far more damaging to Russia than any gain Russia could claim by even full annexation of the territories. They are, after all, filled with pro-Putin Russians, and there’s nothing more useless and expensive than a Russian ready to fellate the power vertical.
If I had my way, I’d have a UN-mandated peacekeeping force in Abkhazia and Georgia outnumbering Russian troops 10-to-1, a massive NATO contingent on the ground in Georgia, the entrance to the Roki tunnel lined with explosives ready to detonate the moment a Russian tank rolled in (think what happened to Pharoah chasing the Hebrews through the Red Sea), a lend-lease program to supply the Georgian military with our very best equipment, and American
bases, radar, and missiles targeted north running the length of the border.
But I know that these things won’t happen. What I’m suggesting, in light of Western cowardice, seems the only way forward.