Engagement without Recognition: A New Strategy toward Abkhazia and Eurasia's Unrecognized States

Lincoln A. Mitchell, Alexander Cooley
Content Type
Journal Article
The Washington Quarterly
Issue Number
Publication Date
October 2010
Center for Strategic and International Studies
The Russia—Georgia war of August 2008 had repercussions well beyond the South Caucasus. The war was the culmination of Western tensions with Russia over its influence in the post—Soviet space, while the fallout exposed divisions within the transatlantic community over how aggressively to confront Moscow after its invasion of undisputed Georgian territory and its permanent stationing of troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.1 The conflict also called into question Georgia's relationship with the United States, as well as U.S. credibility as a regional security partner in light of Washington's apparent inability either to restrain Tbilisi from launching an attack against Tskhinvali in August 2008 or to help its ally once the war began.2 Since the war, both the United States and Europe have provided significant financial support to help rebuild Georgia and have denounced the continued presence of Russian forces in the breakaway territories. The transatlantic community, however, has failed to develop a forward-looking strategy toward those territories.
Political Geography
Russia, United States, Europe, Moscow