The American Interest
Policy, Politics & Culture
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Georgia’s Territorial Integrity

How to save Abkhazia from being permanently absorbed into Russia.

Published on May 1, 2010

ACTION MEMORANDUM

TO: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

FROM: Alexander Cooley & Lincoln Mitchell

DATE: May 1, 2010

SUBJECT: Georgia’s Territorial Integrity

Since the Russo-Georgian War of August 2008, the United States and the European Union have adamantly, and justifiably, refused to accept Russia’s postwar recognition of the declared independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. However, Washington and Brussels have failed, together and separately, to develop a realistic strategy toward the breakaway territories that takes changed political dynamics into account. Indeed, we do not have a workable policy at all; we have platitudes stuck in amber that ignore reality. The...