Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Hence the utter stupidity of Georgia's actions.

Saakashvili is a tool in several of the common senses and, it would appear, a very naive one at that. He does have GWB standing behind him, way behind him, all the way back in Crawford, on vacation.  But the problem was that he had a very different agenda than the older members of the EU.  He thought that he could parlay his US backing, purchased in part with $800,000 from the Georgian treasury to his US lobyist, into neo-cold war glory by reasserting control over South Ossetia.  

He failed to appreciate that the $800,000 only purchased the ringing endorsements, not any effective military assistance come the crunch.  His goal was not irrational, but his means were rash and he walked right in to a trap set by Putin.  What the EU needs is to realize that they have to more forcefully repudiate putative future members of the EU and NATO which Washington would like to arrange for them.

The EU might be spending about as much, per capita, as the USA on military forces, but, as suggested by others above, it is not getting similar bang for the buck. The existing arrangement can only really be directed by the US.  The US abuses this arrangement to suit the needs of domestic politics, as with Georgia.  The US is very unlikely to abandon that ability voluntarily.  The arrangement has the potential to become an attractive nuisance, like an unfenced swimming pool, but one that can start WWIII, just so that one US political party can gain an electoral advantage.  If this nuisance is ever to be adequately fenced, it must be done by Europeans.  Doing so would be a service to the entire world.  

The only one to come out of this with any advantage is Putin and possibly McCain.  Should this ploy work for McCain it could be much more difficult for the EU to ever get control of its own foreign agenda.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 12:14:43 AM EST
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