Let’s call this The Nexon Conversion

In his latest post, Daniel Nexon asks a valid question:  What will it take for the Georgians to figure out that South Ossetia and Abkhazia… Are gone. They. Are. Never. Coming. Back. Ever. They weren’t before the war. If it weren’t a mathematical impossibility, I would say that the events of the last week reduced ...

By , a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast.

In his latest post, Daniel Nexon asks a valid question:  What will it take for the Georgians to figure out that South Ossetia and Abkhazia... Are gone. They. Are. Never. Coming. Back. Ever. They weren't before the war. If it weren't a mathematical impossibility, I would say that the events of the last week reduced the chances of Georgia regaining the two territories from zero to an even smaller value of zero. In the spirit of cheesy Robert Ludlum three-word titles, let's call this The Nexon Conversion.  This happens when a foreign policy leader stops demanding policy reversals that are never going to happen.  Two examples from the Russia-Georgia conflict.  First, the Financial Times reports that Condoleezza Rice is demanding that Russia withdraw its forces from all of Georgian soil "immediately."  Right.  Because Russia will definitely do that now that the United States has demanded it publicly.  Second, the FT also reports that Russia is so upset at Poland for signing a missile-shield agreement with the United States that it's making loose nuclear threats against the country.  Right.  Because on top of invading Georgia, issuing these kind of warnings will definitely convince Poland that Moscow is not a threat.  Way too many people in positions of power need the Nexon Conversion right now.

In his latest post, Daniel Nexon asks a valid question: 

What will it take for the Georgians to figure out that South Ossetia and Abkhazia… Are gone. They. Are. Never. Coming. Back. Ever. They weren’t before the war. If it weren’t a mathematical impossibility, I would say that the events of the last week reduced the chances of Georgia regaining the two territories from zero to an even smaller value of zero.

In the spirit of cheesy Robert Ludlum three-word titles, let’s call this The Nexon Conversion.  This happens when a foreign policy leader stops demanding policy reversals that are never going to happen.  Two examples from the Russia-Georgia conflict.  First, the Financial Times reports that Condoleezza Rice is demanding that Russia withdraw its forces from all of Georgian soil “immediately.”  Right.  Because Russia will definitely do that now that the United States has demanded it publicly.  Second, the FT also reports that Russia is so upset at Poland for signing a missile-shield agreement with the United States that it’s making loose nuclear threats against the country.  Right.  Because on top of invading Georgia, issuing these kind of warnings will definitely convince Poland that Moscow is not a threat.  Way too many people in positions of power need the Nexon Conversion right now.

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner

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