|I believe that the govt of Georgia is behind the Highschool hostage situation. Note that this event is happening in the Russian province of North Ossetia, right by the Georgian border. Note that neighboring South Ossetia, which is a breakaway province of Georgia, has been the site of military clashes between the Georgian military and the separatists of South Ossetia who have set up their own de-facto govt, a la Taiwan or Cyprus. Only Russia recognizes South Ossetia, and is often accused by Georgia of backing the separatist South Ossetia with mercenery troops and other covert military aid, in addition to open economic aid and commerce. As you know, the Georgians and Russians are at loggerheads over South Ossetia.
Similarly, Russia frequently accuses Georgia of being the prime provider of assistance to the Chechen guerrillas (I'd imagine they'd be bigger backers than AlQaeda, given the natural territorial interests here)
Recently, Georgia successfully launched a surprise military offensive to seize strategic highground from the South Ossetia separatist forces. I'd imagine that must have given the triumphant Georgians some breathing room in dealing with the Russians. Logically, they'd now be looking to capitalize on that, and put the Russians on the back foot. Something like this hostage-taking in North Ossetia could do that. It'd get the locals upset and angry, making accusations of Moscow incompetence, yada yada.
Logically then, the escalating violence by separatists in southern Russia should then closely follow escalating violence by separatists in Georgia. The two patterns of escalation will mirror each other. In my opinion, that makes Georgia an extremely poor candidate for NATO membership. And hell, NATO is winding down anyway, with the troop pullbacks being the latest nail in the coffin.
Whaddya say people? Any other armchair analysts out there agree with me?
I think I'm right on the money. Damn, we need a geo-political betting pool here or something, hehe. Sort of like what Poindexter wanted. Then we can make money off of reading the geo-political tea leaves. ;)