The Western Powers and Eastern Europe

Some people fear that the U.S. foreign policy leads the Western World into another Cold War.
Well, I don't. The USA isn't leading any other nation of relevance today, there's just a lot of hot air noise.
The symbolic humanitarian aid deliveries of the USA for Georgia are apparently being dwarfed by Russian humanitarian aid, which reportedly (source: a Western journalist) even helps Georgians outside of South Ossetia.

It's difficult to recall when the USA was for the last time the country that's being called for if there's a crisis somewhere. We saw a lot of calls going out from Washington, but few going in this decade. Washington participated in conflicts more often as a troublemaker than as a mediator. It asked almost all other countries for auxiliary troops for Bush's adventures instead of sending its own troops to clean up for others (as was the common accusation of Americans towards Europe in the previous decade).

Washington was also in the background as one of the root causes for the recent South Ossetia War because it pushed the Georgian government's confidence as a by-product of its quest for Allies in the Coalition of the bribed.

Well, who "leads" the West in this conflict if not the leaving U.S. president?

There's apparently no single "leader".
That's an unacceptable situation for some, but otherwise quite self-evident for a group of sovereign nations.
It's also a good idea not to react instantly (Georgia was lost militarily anyway), but to communicate among each other and to find a really sustainable strategy.

The EU-Europeans have two dates for the definition of their strategy and behaviour that will be supported by the majority.

A special top-level meeting of the EU on the Caucasus conflict.

A top-level meeting of the EU with the Ukraine.

(NATO had high level meetings on 2008-08-12 and 2008-08-19).

It's unreasonable to expect a complete strategy for Eastern Europe on 2008-09-01, but the media people will probably do so nevertheless. The Ukraine meeting eight days later might be the less publicized, but more important one.

So what could we expect? A real, encompassing and published strategy? That's probably unlikely, as this should be agreed upon on a NATO meeting. It might create a confidential strategy that will later be pushed through on a NATO meeting.

The Europeans attempted to create and maintain a peaceful and non-aggressive (at least not overt aggressive) relationship with Russia. These meetings might show whether that was a strategy to keep Russia quiet during the Western expansion since about '92 or whether it will be a future strategy as well.

One outcome might also be some venting of hot air and no published real actions.
That would be considered as a sign of weakness and lack of unity by many people, but might as well be a logical symptom of a possible agreement that the EU has no significant interests at stake in Georgia and Ukraine. Anyway, the usual suspects will certainly use it as an opportunity to bash Europeans.

A Western strategy should be agreed upon this fall, and it should keep our real long-term interests in mind.


It looks like the first meeting's output focused officially a lot on humanitarian issues and demonstrates a preference of partnership over confrontation.
Maybe they will need some more months of observation and diplomacy to create a real strategy. link

Ukraine has become associated with the EU link

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