The chance of establishing a fresh relationship with America under President Obama gives point and interest to a ‘realistic’ Western view of Russian behaviour presented by a former British ambassador to Russia.
The radical proposals for restructuring the Russian armed forces set out by defence ministar Anatoli Serdiukov on 16 October are unlikely to be realised any time soon, but at least they address a long-ignored need to address a strategic posture dating from the early days of the Cold War.
Endless confusion is promised over the implementation of the Georgia cease-fire agreement, but one thing is sure: Russia-West relations are in a downspin, which even the ‘old’ Europe will now find hard to stop
Reports from South Ossetia show the Russian forces to have been better led, and the Georgians better equipped, than either side expected. But Russia is the winner, and the gloomy lesson for anti-militarists is that armed force pays.
In three days, Europe has advanced to the threshold of war; but the chiefly responsible party, the United States, must surely have known what would happen if it continued to let its protégé, Georgia, believe it would back it to the hilt.