Georgia, the little country that still might; or, the eternal perils of August

As we prepare to mark a tumultuous year of Caucasian affairs, Georgia continues to sit on its precipitous perch. After months of demonstrations and blockades by the opposition, there are real questions about the status of its democracy. I maintain that it is a comparative model for the region, but the country has a long road to go. The status of upcoming local elections are up in the air. Despite having had some impact on the status of the state TV channel, the opposition is staying in the streets.

Meanwhile, it's August again -- a frightening prospect for any Russia-watcher. It's a month with a storied history, and that story may play out yet again. Despite Biden's recent overture, Georgia still isn't a NATO member, and won't be getting any weapons from the US soon. Tensions are mounting; today Russian troops tried today to move the Ossetian border, and I wonder what an EU relationship with Abkhazia would mean at this juncture. Recriminations over shelling are being traded again. As Obama and Medvedev continue to dicker over arms treaties, Putin remains a wildcard; the new NATO chief in Georgia may soon have his hands full. Will the joke still come true?