Can the US afford to get involved in the situation in Georgia? Either way, should the US get involved?
Leave Georgia Alone
However compelling the situation in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia may be, it would be incredibly foolish for the United States to become involved in this conflict. Our resources are already stretched far too thin with the catastrophe known as Iraq, we still have to be vigilant in Afghanistan and keep our eyes on what they are doing in Iran, and the last time I checked, Georgia wasn't real high in our strategic interests. Historically, the world powers have carved out "spheres of interest." Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia remained an enormous power, and they still are the 800 pound gorilla when it comes to the affairs of the former Soviet bloc nations.
Set that aside, and just consider how we would handle such a situation. Neocons were already hinting about the need to reinstitute the draft just to handle the Iraq War. Can you possibly imagine a scenario where we could get into a direct conflict with the Russians that would not send us hurdling into World War III? Even Boy George (Shrub) isn't that crazy....I hope....
George Bush may not have to be concerned with public opinion any more (some would say that he never really did concern himself with such matters), but second term Presidents get all wrapped up in their legacy. How will history judge them? Bush is already regarded as a war hawk, and by most accounts he mismanaged the war in Iraq from the get go. Does he really need to make such a disastrous error in the waning days of his Presidency? Not if he cares one iota about how history will judge him.
Another thing second term Presidents have a habit of doing is leaving great big foreign policy messes for their successors to clean up. They all do it. Bush is leaving Iraq to the next President to handle. Could he throw us into another unnecessary military conflict, just to make Obama/McCain's life that much more interesting? Sure. He could also weigh in as a diplomatic factor in this conflict, which would be the politically smart thing to do. Or he could do nothing, which is what I expect he'll do, and which could turn out to be just as difficult for his successor to handle as getting involved in the matter militarily.
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