You won’t often find me quoting the Libertarian Cato Institute line of reasoning, but on the Georgia-Russia conflict I think they are right on the money.
One suspects that the goal of the U.S. venture is not purely humanitarian. The humanitarian justification is likely – at least in part – a cover for an attempt to establish a bridgehead of U.S. military and political influence in Georgia to thwart the advance of Russian power.
If so, the Bush administration is taking an extraordinary risk for very limited stakes. There might be some places in the world that are less relevant than Georgia to the security and liberty of the American people, but it would take a concerted search to find them. The conflict in Georgia is a tragedy with murky roots, and one certainly grieves for the innocent people caught up in the violence. But it will solve nothing for the United States to blunder into that conflict. Bush’s hasty, intrusive humanitarian-aid mission creates precisely that danger.