Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ritual Georgia Rant

Once again, the Secretary General of NATO, Andres Fogh Rasmussen, has been saying nice things about Georgia. Why?  Because he is there.
Georgia has now taken on the title for "Most troops contributed to ISAF by a non-member" from Australia as the Aussies pull up and go home and as Georgia increases its comment.  I was surprised to find that Georgia has deployed troops to Helmand, which used to be the most violent part of Afghanistan and is still a pretty rough place.  So, Georgia is doing a good job of playing to NATO.  Too bad NATO's members no longer care that much about Afghanistan.

More importantly, as I have posted here, here, and here (and probably elsewhere), admitting Georgia would be undermining the credibility that is the key to NATO--that an attack upon one is an attack upon all.  Sure, there are caveats that can be applied even with Article V is involved as the response is conditioned by how each country "deems necessary."  One could have some doubts about commitments to the Baltics (which is why NATO countries take turns with a symbolic air patrol over their skies), but Georgia?  There is no doubt, just certainty.  That NATO would not have much capability or resolve to guarantee Georgia's security.  Even if there was, Georgia has proved fairly recently that when it feels like the US has its back, then it can engage in more feisty behavior with Russia.  This is a well known dynamic in alliances--that allies may not show up and allies may drat others into unwanted wars.  If only the folks in and around NATO would read Glenn Snyder's Alliance Politics.

I am sure that many will find this post repetitive, redundant or otherwise saying the same thing over again.  But since NATO keeps repeating the promises to Georgia about membership for good behavior, and since I am a committed skeptic when it comes to the effectiveness of conditions/membership processes, excuse this plea again for re-considering Georgia's path to membership.

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