Why is the United States always meddling in the back yards of other major powers? Doesn’t anyone on Washington’s Think Tank Row ever wonder if the US may be destabilizing the world? An email notification I got this morning from Foreign Policy Magazine set me to thinking.
3:01 AM Athens, Greece time. Gmail notified me that I have a mail from Andrew Sollinger, who’s the publisher of the magazine. It’s about an upcoming Virtual Dialogue aptly titled “Great Power Plays In the South Caucasus.” The mail reads, in part:
“The South Caucasus region is a critical battleground for great-power players in Eurasia—and one where the United States has been losing ground. Russia, China, and (increasingly) Turkey have been pursuing strategic interests across the region.”
The announcement goes on, but essentially puts forth the question of what the United States’ and Europe’s strategy in Georgia should be. My immediate thought, and perhaps yours was; “How about leaving Georgia alone?” But, Foreign Policy thinking would have to stop, if the United States ever did that. Then it hit me, perhaps because I was notified by Google. Just how far is this region from America, anyhow? As it turns out, quite a ways.
According to Google Earth, Washington D.C. is 5,778.61 miles (9,299.77 km) from Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. That is, if you travel by spacecraft or airplane over the North Pole. On the other hand, you can walk to Moscow through the beautiful Caucasus Mountains, 59.74 miles (96.14 km), and be in Russia. You can even put on your hiking boots and head to Moscow itself, it’s only 1,022.48 miles (1,645.52 km) to Russia’s Kremlin, where geostrategy is strangely about the local neighborhood. I wonder if the “thinkers” slated for this coming policy talk ever use Google Earth?
All of the “thinkers” involved have exactly the same nonsensical view that Russia is somehow being aggressive, rather than defensive, in this whole border militarization scare over Ukraine. And all this comes on the heels of John Herbst and the likes of him jumping up and down, screaming the latest propaganda nonsense about “Invasion, Invasion, Invasion.” If you read Herbst, you’ll find a lot of lunacy there. The man thinks Russia will be broken soon, and that in 20 or 30 years, the biggest country on Earth won’t even be significant.
Then there’s Mamuka Bakhtadze who was the CEO of Georgian Railway LLC, the state-owned railway company of Georgia before rising to the exalted position as Washington puppet in Tbilisi. It’s also worth mentioning that he resigned as PM after only one year in office because the people of Georgia got fed up with him and launched massive protests. I am not sure if his joint press conference with NATO’s commander had anything to do with this.
You don’t need Foreign Policy Magazine emails to find out that America intends to stir every pot in the borderlands around Russia and China, and any other perceived competitor on the world stage. End of story.
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.