NATO goes to Georgia, kind of

Yesterday, 26 NATO ambassadors traveled to Tbilisi, Georgia's capital city, for a conference, even though last week, Russian's envoy said cancel and rethink what you are doing.  Russian ambassador Dmitry Rogozin stated, "We called on NATO to refrain from visiting the republic of Georgia at a high political level because it is interpreted as total political and military support by (President Mikheil) Saakashvili, . . ."

It's nice to know what the Russian government thinks of the NATO-Georgia conference, but the whole of NATO isn't totally with the program, either.  On one side:    

Several countries, including the United States, Poland and the Baltic states, are lobbying hard so that Ukraine and Georgia are given something concrete in December. Vice President Dick Cheney made it a point of promising NATO membership to Georgia and substantial financial assistance when he was in the country's capital, Tbilisi, earlier this month.

Apart from their concerns about a more assertive Russia in the region, these governments believe that NATO membership would strengthen their democracies and boost the security of the region.

"Spreading democracy and stabilizing democracies is a peace-enhancing activity," Foreign Minister Radek Sikorksi of Poland said in an interview. "We believe Ukraine and Poland have the same right to choose the way they want to conduct their security policy."

And some Western European attitudes differ:

[...] other member countries, notably Germany, France, Spain and Italy, want to postpone offering Ukraine and Georgia the Membership Action Plan. Apart from their qualms over further enlargement, they fear that it could upset Russia, with unpredictable implications for the alliance.

Indeed, Germany is worried about possibly being dragged into a war in the Caucasus if NATO had to intervene in a conflict involving Georgia or Ukraine.

Of course, Germany's concerns "about unpredictable implications for the alliance" are valid.  The performance of NATO in Afghanistan isn't all that sterling as the evidence shows:

NATO's role in Afghanistan has divided the alliance amid concerns that some countries aren't sharing the same combat burdens.

Nato's dilemma over troop expansion in Afghanistan.

Does Nato have the right winning tactics, but not enough resources, [. . .]

NATO has issues, which continually plague the effectiveness of the organization in its political as well as military capacities.  Keeping in mind Western Europe's dependence on Russian oil, some effort is still being made on Georgia's behalf:

Aware of the tightrope he is walking, de Hoop Scheffer and NATO foreign ministers agreed last month to develop a NATO-Georgia Commission, which will involve military training; the re-establishment of Georgia's air traffic system, which was bombed during the war; and assisting the Georgian government in understanding the nature of cyber attacks.

For Georgia there is no membership in the immediate future, but at the very least, NATO said, "Nyet," to Russia's demand for disengagement.