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Any Reason to Keep Georgia Out of NATO?

Daniel Larison counters those pining for Georgia’s acceptance into the alliance:

If anything, the reasons for keeping Georgia out of NATO are stronger than ever. Trying to bring Georgia into the alliance does not enhance European security in any way, and Russia would still regard it as an intolerable provocation. Just as it did not in April 2008 during the Bucharest summit, Georgia still does not have full control of its territory. It is ridiculous to ask members of the alliance to extend an Article V guarantee to a country with ongoing territorial disputes. Those disputes are farther from being resolved than ever. It is even harder to justify including Georgia in the alliance when its government was largely responsible for escalating the conflict in 2008. Georgia would be an enormous liability for the alliance and would add nothing to it.

Even if we want to treat NATO as a club for friendly democratic states instead of the defensive military alliance it is supposed to be, Georgia still wouldn’t belong. This a one-party state that Freedom House does not consider an electoral democracy. Georgia’s government is characterized (via Lomsadze) by one leading opposition figure as having a “super-centralized, almost neo-Bolshevik style of governance.” That’s hyperbole from one of the government’s political opponents, but it’s not that much of an exaggeration. Georgia has no business being considered for NATO membership, and reviving this issue is a good way to heighten tensions in the Caucasus and between Russia and NATO.

Image via LA Times

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