Monday, July 20, 2009


Amidst my general agonizing over the changes in our foreign policies, I do appreciate that on Iraq, Afghanistan, and India, we continue to make progress by extending past policies.

And while I worry about our administration failing to stand with new allies who fear Russian aggression, I am pleased to see Vice President Biden conveying President Obama's words of support in Ukraine:

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Kiev on Monday to pledge continued support for Ukraine and was expected to calm fears that Washington's efforts to improve relations with Russia may come at the expense of ex-Soviet nations.

Biden is expected to reaffirm Washington's backing for Ukraine's NATO membership despite opposition from the Kremlin.

And from there, Biden goes to Georgia, where domestic reforms are being announced:

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili is to announce a series of democratic reforms two days before a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, an adviser to Saakashvili told the Associated Press on Monday.

The reforms are being announced following months of anti-government protests by Georgia's opposition, who accuse Saakashvili of authoritarian rule and demand his resignation.

The fact that Biden goes to Georgia is good, too. And the fact that the Georgians are making efforts to apparently strengthen rule of law is good. I've long written that we have no particular reason to support Saakashvili personally, but must support him as the lawful leader against Russian aggression.

Yet as the Obama administration earns a reputation for slighting friends and reaching out to enemies, will any words by our vice president have a lasting effect on either our friends or the Russians?

But for now, I'll hold on to the hope that we will not abandon Ukraine and Georgia to Moscow's self-proclaimed sphere of interest in their so-called Near Abroad.