17 February 2010

Russian military cooperation, part 2

The second bit of news on Russian military cooperation comes from the quasi-state of Abkhazia. I've written before on the absurdity of our policy of pretending that Abkhazia is still part of Georgia, when Georgia has zero control there, and I think the US response to this news fits in with that.

Russia is setting up a military base in Abkhazia. Everyone knew this was going to happen shortly after Russia assumed de facto control of the province's security, and everyone knew that the de facto ruling government of Abkhazia would welcome it. Moreover, Russia has recognized Abkhazian independence since the '08 Georgian War, and so from a Russian legal perspective it has done nothing more than sign a mutual defense pact with an allied state.

Of course, the US does not recognize Abkhazia, and so considers it an illegal meddling in the internal politics of Georgia. Somehow, though, US promises to defend the sovereignty of states that it doesn't even recognize (i.e., Taiwan) do not. And neither do NSA installations on those quasi-states. This is an absurd and inconsistent policy that does nothing to legitimize American foreign policy.

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