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Georgian and Ukraine’s NATO claims are not realistic

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, February 10
NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine is not realistic, suggests Karl Kaiser in the International Herald Tribune of February 5, 2009.

“That alternative has been closed, not because some NATO members - notably France and Germany - fractiously opposed an unpopular Bush administration in its enlargement drive, but for deeper structural reasons,” Kaiser says, giving several arguments. “The reckless engagement of a superior Russian military by Georgia's President, Mikheil Saakashvili, although he had been thoroughly briefed by the United States about the Russian potential, demonstrated to NATO how bad leadership in combination with a very old conflict can drag the Atlantic alliance into a war it does not want.” Kaiser says. He adds that “contrary to the expectations at the end of the Cold War, large scale conventional warfare in Europe has reappeared as a threatening possibility,” and “Russia's relations with the West have reached their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.”

The analyst suggests there are two items central to the alleviation of these problems: the first is general dialogue between the West and Russia in order to review the problems of European security, the second is reviving the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe.