My new tagline?

by Nathan Hamm on 8/7/2004 · 2 comments

Check out this post on Georgia. Praktike, your comment is the story of my life and maybe the most fitting endorsement of this blog. The Argus: A Good Blog (Center-Right Though). Nothing like putting my bias front and center.

Anyhow, I’m not going to quibble on minor points in the referred to post (I’d imagine Georgian attitudes towards their government are more positive than they were last summer) because the following is so solid.

It’s all very well for Saakashvili to say that he’ll shoot Russian boats out of the water or march into South Ossetia with whatever the full might of the Georgian army is at the moment, but newspapers in this country (ie. the US) need to really take the threats from both sides with a grain of salt. Georgia is not about to jeopardize its economic or historical ties with Russia, and I don’t think Russia would want Georgia closing the military highway (something quite easily done, and much discussed in the village west of Kazbegi where we stopped one day for lunch) and cutting Russia off from its strategic bases near the Armenian border. Far more pressing at the moment is economic reconstruction and foreign investment, which will hopefully be more feasible with Saakashvili than it was with Shevardnaze.

I can’t disagree. I think that Saakashvili himself knows it won’t come to war, but he also knows that the only way that Putin will care enough is if Georgia throws a huge fit and gets the US involved. While the ruble most certainly stops with Putin, I’ve noticed time and time again that he is perfectly happy to let his underlings do what they will. In both Georgia and Moldova, why give up control of territory if no one seems to care?

Sean-Paul is 100% correct. What happens in Georgia defines Russian foreign policy and power in its near abroad in the years to come.


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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 2 comments }

praktike August 9, 2004 at 9:48 am

Heh. Well, Zoe seems to be leftier than I am, plus she’s a college student exposed to all those evil socialists at Harvard, so I figured I’d give her a heads-up … and you do write for Redstate …

Nathan August 9, 2004 at 11:13 am

I wear it as a badge of honor. I was a royal pain in the ass in college.

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