With the conflict between Georgia and Russia cooling and a truce in progress, it’s time for the West to appreciate its role in the conflict, writes Ronald D. Asmus for the New Republic.
- From the early '90s, the West accepted the Russians as peacekeepers in the secession dispute. While Boris Yeltsin might have had a credible claim to neutrality, not so Putin, who blatantly favored the separatists.
- Western support for Kosovo independence provoked the Russians to retaliate in Georgia, using our own arguments as justification.
- In March, NATO shied away from extending its umbrella to Georgia, opting for vague assurances of future membership. Would Russia have attacked a full-fledged NATO member?