US Navy Steams in Georgian Port

European press is reporting that the USS Mount Whitney, the 6th Fleet’s flagship, has docked at the Black Sea port of Pilo, Georgia - a move in the chess match of international relations considered to be a confrontational act. The port is actually garrisoned with a small number of Russian Soldiers, who while pose no potential threat to the US Mount Whitney, do increase the hostilities of the situation; this on the heels of Dick Cheney’s visit to Georgia, widely seen as a “spoking of the fires” trip. On top of this, there are allegations by the Russian Government that the US is shipping weapons into Georgia through Black Sea ports-

Russia’s leaders have accused previous US warships that docked at the port of Batumi, to the south, of delivering weapons to re-arm the smashed Georgian military — charges that Washington denied. - UK Times

The US does not want to militarily confront Russia, neither can the Russians wage an effective war against the Americans - so we must ask - what does each side want? How far do they plan on pushing their positions? Will the US indefinitely continue to escalate the situation - a situation it honestly has no business being involved in? The answers are both very simple and very complex. The US and Russia are engaged in a typical international-relations game of poker, and neither side wants to fold for fear of appearing weak.

“Naval ships of that class can hardly deliver a large amount of aid,” said Andrei Nesterenko, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman. “Such ships have a hold for keeping provisions for the crew and items needed for sailing. How many tonnes of aid can a ship of that type deliver?”

He said that the presence of US warships could contravene international conventions governing shipping in the Black Sea, and in particular restrictions on the entry of naval ships from countries that do not share a Black Sea coastline. The small Russian garrison in Poti would pose no military threat to a vessel like the Mount Whitney, but the proximity of two hostile forces in such a fraught environment set the political temperature rising again in the Caucasus a month after Russia’s five-day war with Georgia. - UK Times

The American neoconservatives make the argument of “backing off now will lead to an extremely emboldened Russia, one potentially willing to attempt to rebuild the Soviet Union”, but they overlook the fact that it is their policies that are provoking Russia to begin with. Asking Georgia, a nation traditionally within Russia’s sphere of influence, to join NATO is akin to Russia making Mexico apart of the Soviet Union.

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