August 26, 2008

Russia Is Not Backing Down. Will the US Escalate?

From the Debka File -
The US embassy in Tbilisi said Tuesday, Aug. 26, that two warships will deliver aid to Georgia Wednesday through the Black Sea port of Poti, the day after Russian forces announced they would search all incoming cargoes.

Meanwhile, Medvedev has signed decrees recognizing South Ossetian and Abkhazian independence. Russia is making it clear that they intend to press independence for these regions as it was pressed for Kosovo by the West and that will clearly include extending military support to maintaining their borders. US warships are set to enter the Poti port, which is under the control of the Russian navy. Will the Russians make good on their promise to search all vessels entering the port? If they attempt to do so with US vessels, rest assured that US warships will certainly not permit it. This is a test to see who is going to blink first. The potential result: a military conflict with Russia.

Exit question: In light of US committments to Iraq and Afghanistan, is it a smart move for the US to dare the Russians to call our bluff? If they do, then what?