Monday, August 11, 2008

Two-edged sword (South Ossetia)

Ethnic map of the North Caucasus region. Source: University of Colorado

So the South Ossetians don't want to be part of Georgia, and declared independence. OK. However, most have taken Russian passports. Hmm, this blogger wonders if they have thought this through. Are they really sure that they would rather embrace the Russian bear (which is loath to let go once it has its claws into you!)? Now we have the Russians "defending" the (nominally independent) South Ossetians against Georgian "aggression." Have they thought this through? Obviously their intention is to fold South Ossetia into Russia, but they may be sending the wrong message (independence) to the North Ossetians (and other regional ethnic minorities)...

Meanwhile the U.S, Germany, and NATO no doubt will come to regret their embrace of Kosovar independence... Once you start messing with international borders in many parts of the world there is a huge amount of down-side risk! Here we are seeing what may be the first fruits of that decision...

South Ossetia - Wikipedia

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