Russian Mediterranean Warships Placed Under Black Sea Fleet Command - US Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group Headed for the Med & Persian Gulf
Rather as God cares about every sparrow that falls to earth, no crisis anywhere escapes the attention of the U.S. government. So it has been with the Russo-Georgian war. Words continue to flood forth from Washington—Georgia stands for freedom and democracy, Russia must be punished, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are part of Georgia, the U.S. and Europe must stand by Tbilisi. “NATO intends to support the territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty of Georgia, and to support its democratically elected government,” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gravely intoned. “This NATO which has come so far in a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace is not going to permit a new line to be drawn in Europe,” she added, apparently referring to Georgia, even though it lies far outside Europe. Rice also called the statement on the conflict issued by the NATO members’ foreign ministers a “clear indication of NATO’s interest and NATO’s concern.”
Yes, it was—in ways she didn’t anticipate. Moscow’s response was a sneer and an insult. NATO then did precisely nothing.
In fact, there’s not much the alliance could do. Georgia is not actually a member, of course, and when the NATO ministers met in Brussels on August 19 few European states had the stomach for confronting Russia despite France’s threat of “serious consequences.” Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said that the NATO-Russia Council would not meet for the foreseeable future and the alliance would create a similar forum for dialogue with Georgia. Otherwise it would essentially be business as usual with Moscow.