The Road Leads Back to War


Bill Kristol reacts to the Russo-Georgian war:

Georgia, a nation of about 4.6 million, has had the third-largest military presence—about 2,000 troops—fighting along with U.S. soldiers and marines in Iraq. For this reason alone, we owe Georgia a serious effort to defend its sovereignty. Surely we cannot simply stand by as an autocratic aggressor gobbles up part of—and perhaps destabilizes all of—a friendly democratic nation that we were sponsoring for NATO membership a few months ago.

You might have thought the American presence in Iraq made it less wise to go plunging into a confrontation with the Russians. Kristol seems to think it obliges us to get involved. He even calls for "emergency military aid to Georgia"—because what America really needs right now is to jump into a conflict that has nothing to do with us while we're already $3 trillion deep in another set of wars.

I propose a compromise. If the Georgians want to bring their troops home from Iraq to fend off an actual military threat, they should do so with our blessing. And if Kristol wants to fly to Tbilisi to lend them his military expertise, I'm sure The New York Times could work up a Neoconservative Phrase Generator ("aggressors aren't intimidated," "fanatics aren't deterred," "nuclear ambitions," "graver dangers," "unchecked") to construct Kristol's columns while he's away.