July 10.07.2007 16:17:08
“It is everybody’s responsibility to keep Georgia on the agenda” - Ambassador David J. Smith
“The 2008 election is important, because in that moment all the cameras will be here for 48 hours. You have that moment to shine”
The real trick to a democratic revolution is the second election, Ambassador David J. Smith told GT, while evaluating Georgia’s recent history and future. Hopeful about Georgia’s NATO membership in spring 2008 and confident in Georgia’s role in international security, he hailed the Georgian government for doing an excellent job in the reform process as well as for diplomatic maneuvering regarding conflict resolution. He also said that Georgia should continue its current course, keep firm on its interests with anybody, including Russia, and most importantly, ‘to stay on the agenda.’
Ambassador David J. Smith is Director of the Georgian Security Analysis Center in Tbilisi, and Senior Fellow at Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, Washington.
Q: Recently Russia offered the United States the joint use of Azerbaijan’s missile defence station. What was behind this offer?
A: Absolute obscuration is what is behind that proposal. When the United States proposed to put the system in Poland and Czech Republic – whether I like that proposal or not – it makes sense. The world is round and if you draw what is called the great circle route from Iran towards the United States or towers northern Europe the reality is that is crosses Poland. That location has nothing to do with Russia, OK? So that is exactly where you would put it. If you put it any further up, it is too close and it can not make any multiple shots and therefore it is inefficient and ineffective. If you put it further back, it wastes a lot of time because we do not get one chance to lay back from the United States. That [Poland and Zech Republic] is the good place to put. So Vladimer Putin coming and saying ‘I have a proposal: Why do not use the radar in Gabala?’ it frankly is a non-suggestion. It is a suggestion thrown