I don’t know who the neo-coni-sh unilateralists are on the issue of Russia’s invasion of Georgia. I suspect they do not exist.
Rather, most of the hard work in processing the politically bankrupt Soviet Union has been done by the old democracies of Europe — Britain, France, Germany, and Italy. Three classes of reforms, each more profound than the last, integrated members of the former Warsaw Pact solidly into the European scene. A free trade area, a free movement of labor area, and even an integration into Europe’s internal political machinery changed the war that western Europeans do their work, live their lives, and even pass their laws.
Throughout this, America’s contribution has been easier but still important. We expanded NATO, providing the ‘security guarantees’ necessary to make it easier for European connectivity to flow.
Moving forward, the struggle against Russia (which has reverted to behaviors typical of a gap state stuck in time) will continue to be heavily multilateral. The actions that America can perform on its own are limited, the most serious being granting security guarantees to the seam states on Russia’s edge. However, real victory will come from working with Europe. Tying the European Seam to the European Core will be the job of Europe, as it integrates Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova into the multilateralist institutions that have been post-War Europe’s greatest achievement.
Keep faith with our friends. Don’t give in to an isolationist unilateralism on Europe, where we abandon the Seam to the Gap in exchange for a return to the pre-8/8/08 world. Closing our eyes and keeping to ourselves is not a good way forward. Rather, we should work through multilateral institutions, keep patience, and focus on integrating Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Armenia into the European Union and NATO.