A Little War that Shook the World: Georgia, Russia, and the Future of the West
A Little War that Shook the World: Georgia, Russia, and the Future of the West, a book written by Ronald D. Asmus, executive director of the Brussels office of the German Marshall Fund, was released on January 15, 2010, in Europe and and January 19, 2010, in the United States, by Palgrave Macmillan.
To many, the brief war between Russia and Georgia in August 2008 seemed like it came out of the blue. However, Asmus argues that the conflicts' root cause was not the future status of Abkhazia or South Ossetia but Georgia's desire to go West and Russia's determination to stop it. He says war was also part of a broader Russian move to stop NATO enlargement once and for all and to change the rules of a European security system that Moscow has concluded no longer served its interests. Russia's challenges, Asmus says, represent another step in the direction of a new world disorder in which Western values, norms, and influence are being eroded steadily. A Little War that Shook the World goes back to the 1990s to examine where things started to go wrong with Moscow and what, if anything, the West could have done differently. It is a look at the lamentable breakdown of relations between Russia and the West and a provocative account of the first East-West post-Cold War military conflict.
The book has received reviews from many notable politicians and experts:
"This timely and important book....sheds a bright light into the shadows of a pivotal episode in the evolution of the post-Cold War Europe, Russia, and American foreign policy. In short, Ron Asmus has put the ‘little war' of the title into a big picture of geopolitics." -from the preface by Strobe Talbott
"[P]rovides a very timely, historically clarifying, geopolitically illuminating analysis of the first post-Cold War East-West military conflict --- and does so with unique insider's knowledge of what actually did happen... an important statement and a very good read!"-Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor and author of The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership
"Ron Asmus has been an original thinker, diplomat and the go-to expert on Central and Eastern Europe for the more than 20 years that I have known him. His writing should be required reading for those who care about Europe and its neighborhood, and his account of the August 2008 Russo-Georgia war is one that no one who cares about the region should miss."-Madeleine K. Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, 1997-2001
"I can think of few individuals more qualified to judge the background to, nature of and consequences of the five-day war between Russia and Georgia than Ron Asmus. With unique access to key actors, he describes the political background of what happened in a way no one else could have done. The book is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the Caucasus, Europe, transatlantic relations as well as the Russia of today - and tomorrow."-Carl Bildt, Swedish Foreign Minister and former prime minister of Sweden
"This book reminds us not only of the strategic mistakes but also the moral dimension of the struggle over Georgia's desire to become part of the Western democratic community. It is a powerful statement on how our European security system failed to prevent a war that could and should have been prevented."-Václav Havel, former President of the Czech Republic
"Required reading if you want to know what really happened behind the scenes in the Russo-Georgian war -- and how the West let Tbilisi down in the face of Russian aggression."-Senator John McCain
Ronald Asmus is executive director of the Brussels-based Transatlantic Center and responsible for Strategic Planning at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He was a deputy assistant secretary of state for European Affairs during President Clinton's second term. He has published numerous essays over the years on U.S.-European relations, including in Foreign Affairs, Survival, the American Interest and Policy Review. He is the author of Opening NATO's Door, a contributor to The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic and is a commentator in both the American and European news media. He lives in Brussels, Belgium.