Conflict in Georgia – good backgrounder

Good backgrounder article in today’s USA Today about the fighting between Russia and Georgia. It has some historical background information for a conflict that I suspect we’ll continue to hear about for a while. What might this conflict be about?

Saakashvili argued that Russia invaded his country to consolidate its near-monopoly on energy in the region. Georgia is on the route of the only oil and natural gas pipelines not controlled by Russia in the area.

Reuters also has a good historical time line of the conflict. And to see how the Russians have already pushed the Georgian government into digital exile, an interesting article on how the President’s website and the website of a prominent Georgian media outlet are now being hosted in Atlanta.

This is a moment in time when the rules of the world are being rewritten. How the United States responds in this conflict will have an impact on the decisions other leaders make and the expectations they have on how the United States may respond. Unfortunately, our position is compromised, as both our troops and the moral high ground are bogged down in Iraq.

UPDATE: MSNBC.com has a good “Why should you care” summary:

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