Georgia’s Precarious Security

This article examines Georgia’s current security environment. Georgia and Russia are at an impasse over the outcome of the 2008 Russo-Georgian war, and Russia’s subsequent encroachments on Georgian sovereignty, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia suggest to Georgia that it is the threat of a new war or crisis remains. Meanwhile Moscow refuses to make any concessions to Georgia, and vice versa. The result is a stalemate, and a dangerous impasse in the negotiations to end the war and in their overall relations. This crisis has broader implications for the rest of the CIS and Europe due to Russia’s continuing neo-imperialist policies. Indeed, Russia’s formal policy and even military legislation give it the right to intervene across the CIS to defend its compatriots if it believes their honor and dignity have been harmed by a foreign state. The threat implicit in such legislation is obvious. Nonetheless, the West is not responding particularly strongly to Russia’s activities, and Georgia is waiting for the West to help it make new gains in security and in recovering its territory. Accordingly the article concludes with recommendations for Georgia as to what it must do to strengthen its national security and achieve its vital goals of inclusion in the EU and NATO.

Authors: Stephen Blank