Wales Summit Expectations
04 September, 2014
Wales Summit Expectations
A couple or so decades ago, when Georgia was still a minor chunk of the giant soviet military rock, NATO used to be just another four-letter word around, and people did not even care to know what it exactly meant – the feeling was that somebody up there would take care of any consequence that might ensue, should it materialize from any conflict with the shut-off outside world. Today, the picture is absolutely different: we are now diligently trying to
morph ourselves into an organic fraction of the sophisticated western world, and the selfsame four-letter utterance has truly turned into an overused house-hold word – even the kids in the kinder-garden would use it when indulging into their assumed grown-up situations. The current public understanding in the country is that NATO is an all-rounded omnipotent and the only reliable savior from all national evils although part of the Nation does not believe that this is necessarily true. The Nation is split on the issue just as the general political opinion is about Georgia’s future – ‘One, two three and let me see who likes coffee and who likes tea’ – remember this funny little rhyme of our childhood? The expectations concerning any NATO forum which carries the issue of Georgia on its agenda is usually painfully high here. Now that the Wales Summit has begun, the political agitation is reaching its acme. All of us are right into it head over heels. And there is nothing wrong about it – we are simply looking forward to certain positive outcomes from this annual meeting of the growing international military block, strongly opposed to Russian national interests, as any Russian politician or a political commentator would have put it. On the other hand, the NATO’s political attitude is ‘make peace, no war’, as any western leader would qualify the conceptual stand of this powerful international body. But what Georgia could do as a seemingly independent country and developing democracy to save itself from physical annihilation and long-standing political serenity which is so important for this tiny nation to survive? It is too bad that Georgia has to make those difficult choices between the old patron and a new ally. And difficult it is because it is torn between two military mega-powers who, as it seems, are not capable of ending their creepy bickering once and for all. Georgia is forever stuck with a double-standard, double-faced and double-thinking international stance which, as a matter of fact, is putting its future at stake against the genuine will of this Nation. Georgia does not need much. When sandwiched in between NATO and Russia, it needs to give itself at least a tolerable level of pain when squeezed and pressed too hard. Georgia needs to work and develop, gingerly avoiding the dire consequences of the overly exacerbated Russian-NATO confrontation. And Georgia is trying! The poor little thing is trying as much as it can. On the one hand, it has done all its possible best to achieve maximum results at the summit to secure its adequate recognition by NATO. Supporting the NATO countries whole-heartedly, Georgia’s first and utmost expectation is to achieve the deserved assessment at the upcoming summit which is the enhancement of the level of its self-defense. And the chance of self-defense will never arrive unless the membership in NATO becomes a clearly seen possibility, so much awaited for.
It was before stated that Georgia would not be offered MAP – the Membership Action Plan at the Wales summit but it would be offered the so called unprecedented package guaranteeing greater support of Georgia by NATO. All these terms and words sound so sweet and encouraging – high level of defense, political support, new package, attractive deal, specific mechanisms and what not – but how closely are we approaching the end of the game, a full membership in the alliance? Or how far are we getting away from the danger which is still emanating from what Russia looks and feels like, based on its international behavior. Straight question: will Russia get dangerously angered at NATO and TBILISI if the summit results are really good for Georgia? On a more scary account, will the anticipated good results instigate even the harder feelings of Russia against Georgia? Are we going to be scared or we don’t really care? You know, we are sometimes getting embittered over the minor issues like who should go to the summit – who of Georgia’s current leaders – but this seems unimportant on the background of what is happening in the precarious reality we are living in right now. We might need to better concentrate on the hardcore gist of the matter that we are faced with – the smartest possible handling of the perennial contradiction between the East and the West, part of which Georgia has unwittingly become. Will eating the cake and still having it work for us? Or should we necessarily make a fatal choice? The summit expectations are just another suit of unexpected developments which we are in principle very much used to by now, but what does the future have in store for us? Show me a politician or an expert of politics who could give a straightforward answer to this question, whether optimistic or pessimistic! Not available! We are all in doubt. Futuristic predictions are practically impossible, although relevant to make, and nobody wants to go to the extent of regular fortunetelling. To be a subject of discussion at the NATO summit might be a huge matter of national pride and security, but the question is if this phenomenally esteemed international body has enough readiness or desire, for that matter, to live up to the expectations of the Georgian people and its ambivalent leadership. Incidentally, the word ‘ambivalent’ does not connote anything wrong or shameful. It is only an unfortunate fact that we are confronted with the exigency of making a choice. And choices are never easy to make, are they?

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