I don't think we can can sustain 4 active fronts. Maybe three if we drop Iran?
From Times Online
August 8, 2008
Analysis: why the Russia-Georgia conflict matters to the West
Richard Beeston, Foreign Editor
It would be a serious mistake for the international community to regard the dramatic escalation of violence in Georgia as just another flare-up in the Caucasus.
The names of the flashpoints may be unfamiliar, the territory remote and the dispute parochial, but the battle underway will have major repercussions well beyond this volatile region.
The outcome of this struggle will determine the course of Russia’s future relations with its neighbours, will shape President Medvedev’s presidency, could alter the relationship between the Kremlin and the West and decide the fate of future energy supplies from the Caspian basin.
Quite what triggered the Georgian offensive, on the day that the world was supposed to gather in peace for the start of the Beijing Olympics, is not yet clear.
But it is known that a major confrontation has been building up. Indeed, British intelligence earlier this year predicted that a war in the Caucasus was probable in the near future.
Part of the responsibility must lie with President Mikheil Saakashvili. The US-educated politician has rightly been praised for turning around his country’s dire economy, for transforming his former Soviet-style army into a modern Western force and for standing up to the Kremlin’s intimidation.
Georgia has for the best part of two decades been saddled with breakaway regions in Abhazia and South Ossetia, both supported by Russia as part of the Kremlin’s strategy to weaken Tblisi’s authority.
Nevertheless, seeking to reintegrate the separatist provinces by force is a risky, some would say reckless, move that threatens to trigger an all out war between Russia and Georgia.
On paper, the small Georgian military is no match for the might of the Russian armed forces. But Mr Saakashvili has calculated that his friends in the West, notably America and Britain, will protect him against an all out Russian attack
Analysis: why the Russia-Georgia conflict matters to the West - Times Online