Mittwoch, 24. September 2008

The Surprising Collateral Damage of the Georgian Crisis: Nonproliferation



Over the past weeks and months observers, analysts and strategists have been unusually busy. The Georgian crisis, faltering relations between Russia and the West, the collapse of the world's leading banking corporations, a looming global recession and the American presidential elections have headed the international agenda. But was there not another major crisis that was about to bring the world onto the verge of another war? Machmud Ahmadinejads speech at the United Nations' General Assembly (and his odd appearence at Larry King) have reminded the world that there still is a conflict that the international community should worry about. Not least because Ahmadinejad was seen more often on TV lately than Sarah Palin it is time for the world to focus on Iran again. The E3 (Germany, France, and the UK) and Russia, China and the US were supposed to meet at the sidelines of the current proceedings at the United Nations to agree on a future course vis-á-vis Iran, notably on how to beef up the "vegetarian sanctions" (as Israeli scholar Efraim Inbar called them) after the latest IAEA report again showed how urgently the international community needs to find a firm stance on Teheran. The Kremlin, however, seems to regard these talks as a golden opportunity to engage in a tit for tat diplomacy and says it would pull out of these talks, although one is left wondering what exactly it wants to take revenge for after Moscow invaded Georgia proper, recognised South Ossetia and Abkhasia and sent strategic bombers and navy vessels to Latin America. The thing is, in doing so Russia undermines non-proliferation policy (something one should assume Moscow has a stake in) and simply acts irresponsible.

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