The Georgian and Russian incursions in Georgia require clear, unequivocal, creative and continuing responses from Barack Obama to assure voters that an Obama administration will be responsive and responsible when international crises erupt.
Fortunately, Senator Obama has General Wesley K. Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and the military leader during the Kosovo conflict, as an unwavering supporter whose experience and leadership in eastern Europe is recognized by European leaders and by the American people. General Clark should be actively engaged in devising the detailed policy recommendations that the Obama campaign must make now and continue to make in the future as the combustible situation on the ground in Georgia evolves.
It is clear that the United States should not threaten the use of force in this conflict. Instead, as Senator Obama has suggested, independent observers should be dispatched to ascertain the conditions on the ground in Georgia and the dissident regions and to seek a resolution of the conflict.
General Clark knows that in a 21st century Europe made transnational in pursuit of trade and commerce, the 19th century solutions to which Russia is prone have no place. Russia should, and can, enter the mainstream of a Europe held together more by economics than national identities. It is to that goal that American policy should be directed and not to the bellicose attitudes and statements of the Bush administration and its supporters.
But somebody with the knowledge, experience and broad international influence has to move the idea of a resolution in Georgia to a reality.
That man is Wesley Clark.