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A Little War That Shook the World: Georgia, Russia and the Future of the West
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A Little War That Shook the World: Georgia, Russia and the Future of the West

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  179 ratings  ·  24 reviews
The brief war between Russia and Georgia in August 2008 seemed to many like an unexpected shot out of the blue that was gone as quickly as it came. Former Assistant Deputy Secretary of State Ronald Asmus contends that it was a conflict that was prepared and planned for some time by Moscow, part of a broader strategy to send a message to the United States: that Russia is go ...more
Hardcover, 254 pages
Published January 19th 2010 by Palgrave MacMillan (first published January 1st 2010)
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3.74  · 
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 ·  179 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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I picked this book up while on a work trip to Tbilisi in order to gain a better understanding of the Russo-Georgian war of Aug. 2008. The book gives a decent factual account of the diplomatic tensions and missteps of all of the parties involved (Georgia, Russia, EU, US) in the days prior to the war. Asmus puts the war in the context of a greater narrative of post Cold War western democratic expansion coming up against the Russian nationalism of the Putin era. In general, the book is informative ...more
Jun 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I've studied this area for a few years now and followed Georgian Russian relations for quite some time before this book was written. Three years after the war, I find this book to be spot on. Its amazingly accurate and has left out only a few instances of pre-war Russian aggression. I don't really care about those who reviewed it and I am not claiming that American foreign policy is correct however I do believe it documents the Kosovo precedent with the utmost care and also goes into great deta ...more
Michael Burnam-Fink
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, history, war
A Little War is a great candid account of the distant days of 2008, from a very Washington D.C. perspective. Asmus describes a reactive, divided, and unstrategic Washington-European diplomatic apparatus that failed to defuse a situation as it arose, precipitated a crisis by failing to understand Moscow, and left Georgia in the lurch in its moment of need.

Ultimately, blame for the war rests on Moscow, which maintained an untenable ceasefire over the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia for over a
Salome Pachkoria
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
თუ აგვისტოს ომზე აქამდე არაფერი წაგიკითხავთ, გამოგადგებათ. მარტივად და დაწვრილებით არის ახსნილი ბევრი რამე.
Cherith Cutestory
Jan 01, 2011 rated it did not like it
This is the first time in my life that I've bought a book and had it to put it down before even completing the first chapter. No matter what my reservations usually are, I finish all the books I buy. Ronald Asmus, author of this book, has opened my eyes to a new fact: yes, literacy *can* be a curse.

The first thing that gave me pause is when I was reading the back jacket and saw praise from Madeleine Albright (who once said unhesitantly that 500,000 dead Iraqi civilians, mostly children, is a "fa
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ეს წიგნი ალბათ ყველაზე დიპლომატიურია მათ შორის, რაც კი აქამდე წამიკითხავს. იგი სავსეა ფაქტებით, მოსაზრებებით და მცირე პოლიტიკური მიმოხილვებით, დაწყებული ცივი ომიდან დღევანდელ დღემდე. დეტალურად არის აღწერილი და განხილული აგვისტოს ომის პერიოდი, წინაპირობები, მოლოდინები, მოგება-წაგების საკითხები და მიზეზები. საინტერესო იყო კულუარული ინფორმაციები, პირადი მიმოწერის მცირე დეტალები და ა.შ. ეს ყველაფერი კი ძალიან ფრთხილი ენით არის აღწერილი, რამეთუ ეს წიგნი მიზნად არ ისახავს ვინმეს გამართლებას და ან გამტ ...more
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strong account of the lead up to and the days during the brief Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008. This book was a timely read because many of the things that led Putin to invade Georgia, his dislike of the West, etc., have a hand in Russia's recent attempts to intervene in Western elections and his manipulation of the Trump administration to fracture the Western Alliance.

Pacing was great, never felt bored with the book.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gave me a good overview about the conflict. Comprehensive and reflective.
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, february
Short report of a scary conflict in 2008 that most people barely noticed.
Jan 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
I read this book to gain a better understanding of the Russo-Georgian conflict, mostly because I am moving to the region shortly for work. While I did learn a lot about the factual circumstances around the war, it was clear that it was written with a specific agenda. Asmus wrote this as an argument for why the war had little to do with the separatist territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and everything to do with Russia's aggressively anti-Western ambitions.

Asmus paints Russian leadership a
Sep 29, 2012 rated it liked it
I wanted to read something that could give a kind of "on the ground" perspective of what happened in the war between Russia and Georgia, but so far this is the best thing I've been able to find on the topic.

It's not that this is a bad book; it just isn't the right book for my query. Asmus works on the level of heads of state, diplomats, and NGOs, and he gives the immediate and historical causes of the war in South Ossetia (or at least recent history: since the fall of the Soviet Union, and mostl
Frank Kelly
The "Little War" between Russia and Georgia in August 2008 garnered signficant international attention and outrage. Lasting only five days, Russia effectively beat Georgia and changed the security architecture in Eastern Europe as envisioned by NATO (and Georgia). Ron Asmus, one of the leading thinkers (and doers) in building out NATO has given us an interesting analysis of what exactly happened -- and what, from his perspective, we can expect as a result of Western inaction to the situation. As ...more
Asmus looks at the 2008 Russian-Georgian War in a wider context of what it means for the international community, and what led to it. A former member of the Clinton Administration who was an advocate in NATO expansion, Asmus personally knew many of the individuals involved, especially on the Georgian side. This both helps and hinders the overall book, as it allows him to get a better understanding of what happened internally (at least in Georgia), though he is also somewhat sympathetic to the Ge ...more
Arzan Raimalwala
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
A riveting and balanced account of the 5 day war between Russia and Georgia in 2008. I was looking for a book to read before traveling to Georgia and Abkhazia and could not have chosen a better title. Asmus not only provides a detailed inside account of how events unraveled but also puts the conflict in context of the broader regional and international tussle between the US, Europe, Russia and CIS states. Some may complain that Asmus could have gone in to more detail about certain shadow subject ...more
Terry Quirke
Apr 15, 2013 rated it liked it
An excellent topic opener, the author concentrates upon the political/ diplomatic context of the conflict, what caused it and why and the repercussions of it. Some of the military strategy is covered, but mainly it is concerned with the political dimension and squarely puts the ball in Russia's court for the invasion (compounded by Georgian political errors). A worthy introduction to a subject which has so far seen little in-depth analysis.
Oct 31, 2013 rated it liked it
The huge flaw of this book is that it is told solely from the Georgian and Americans points of view, with not even an attempt to figure out what Russia was thinking, other than by faithfully passing on the worst interpretations of Russian actions that were given to him by his Georgian sources. Still, there is a lot of good detail from the Western side, and he doesn't shy away from showing the warts of U.S./European policy.
Jun 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
History of the August 2008 war between Georgia and Russia from an "insider" who spent years as a diplomat in the region. He puts the war in a larger context of Georgia's desire to become a full-fledged Western nation, and Russia's growing opposition to this development. He also discusses the responsibilities of the Western world towards Georgia (and by extension, other emerging states that seek to join the West).
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. The author stays at the strategic level of the conflict, and looked more towards the root causes of the conflict. The analysis of the Kosovo precedent was an aspect I had not seen before and helps to set the stage for the conflict. The irony of a nation training to and working with NATO making it less prepared for a major conflict with Russia was a little sad to read, but true.
Andy Kramer
Jul 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is concisely written, well organized, and methodical in its treatment of the subject. The author's bias permeates the entire book however, so for someone unacquainted with the topic it is difficult to completely trust entire sections of the book. R. Asmus does present a well-grounded look into the historical and immediate causes of the 2008 war and makes convincing arguments for his positions.
Allison Rockwell
I'm embarrassed that I didn't get beyond the first chapter of the book. It's an issue close to my heart, as my husband is from Georgia, but I just couldn't get into it at this time, particularly as I can't read nonfiction if I'm often interrupted, which is what was happening this time around. I'll try again in a few weeks and see if I can't get through more of it.
Apr 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
An excellent read. Well researched and thorough. Interesting for some one very familiar with the situation in the Caucuses or just interested in the recent events.
Dec 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
A general overview and likely the best that can be done without significant research available. Worth reading as a topic opener.
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წიგნის სკანირებული ვერსია 1 1 Nov 23, 2017 11:31AM  
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“But the root cause of this war was geopolitical. Georgia was determined to go West and Russia was determined to stop it from doing so.” 0 likes
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