• It Should Be So and it Will Be So!

    Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili addressed the 63rd Session of the United Nations last week.  Georgia, Saakashvili told heads of government and ambassadors of the 192 member nations, was “invaded by our neighbor.”  Rather than dwell on the war, however, the Georgian President set out two challenges for the peace.

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  • Georgia Crisis Reverberates to Latin America

    Sitting in Bogota, I didn’t expect to see Colombian television coverage of the four-ship Russian squadron departing Severmorsk. After all, Colombia is very much focused on consolidating its recent gains against the narcoterrorist group FARC. There is now tremendous optimism in Colombia with a series of successes that began with a spring operation that killed the FARC deputy Raul Reyes and a summer operation that recovered three American hostages, Ingrid Betancourt, and eleven others. It was strange to me that the Caucasus should matter in Colombia, but to overuse a phrase, the world is interconnected now.

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  • Wake Up, Gassiev is Calling!

    Wake Up, Gassiev is Calling!

    In the predawn hours of August 7, Russia invaded Georgia.  Gassiev, a border guard of the separatist regime in the Georgian territory of South Ossetia, was at the southern end of the Roki Tunnel that leads from Russia.  At 3:52 a.m., he used his mobile telephone to tell his supervisor: “The armor and people . . . 20 minutes ago; when I called you, they had already arrived.”  The intercepted telephone call, first reported in the September 16 New York Times, explodes the myth that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili precipitated Russia’s assault on Georgia with an ill-conceived attack on Tskhinvali, capital of South Ossetia.

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  • Russia Back in the Game: It’s the West’s Move

    With its invasion of Georgia, Russia demonstrated the determination to “come back into the game” in style. Regenerated through the surge of energy prices, Russia’s leaders want to make up their losses from the 1990s and get payback for the accompanying humiliation. Her aggressive policies, heralded by the political use of the energy weapon starting in 2006, have been beefed up now with a willingness to openly employ military might.

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  • Russia's Godfathers

    Is French President Nicolas Sarkozy negotiating with Don Corleone?

    Sarkozy, leading the European Union effort to secure a Russian withdrawal from Georgia, has returned from Moscow with another agreement. This time, Russian troops are to withdraw from the so-called “buffer zone” after the placement of 200 EU monitors in the regions outside South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

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  • Focusing on the Wrong Georgia?

    Thomas Friedman, who it's safe to say is no isolationist, argues in his Sunday column that the United States is devoting too many resources to the outside world.

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  • Would NATO Defend Narva?

    Russia's war against Georgia has forced Europeans to ask where their true interests lie and which country they'd be willing to defend if and when a Russian push ever comes to shove.
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  • NATO and the Near Abroad: Beyond Bucharest

    NATO and the Near Abroad:  Beyond Bucharest

    Those predicting that the Russian incursion into Georgia will rejuvenate transatlantic solidarity might be overly optimistic.

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  • Restoring Georgia's Sovereignty in Abkhazia

    Georgia Flag and Map

    This report recommends a package of immediate measures to the Georgian and Abkhaz sides to prevent the escalation of violence. As part of a multi-year strategy, it also suggests steps that Georgians, Abkhaz, and international stakeholders can take to lay the ground for future negotiations. In addition, the report proposes a diplomatic initiative by the United States and the European Union (EU) that would restore Georgia’s sovereignty, while preserving the interests of Abkhaz.

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  • Strategic Assesment of Central Eurasia

    This assessment outlines a basis for U.S. national security planning related to Central Eurasia over the next ten years. The region covered encompasses the five former Soviet states of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) and the three former Soviet states of the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia).

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