Magazine article The Spectator

Confrontation the Only Way

Magazine article The Spectator

Confrontation the Only Way

Article excerpt

Sir: I deeply admire Philip Bobbitt's writings on constitutional orders and counter-terrorism, but his essay ('A portent of perils to come', 16 August) was off the mark in several respects. His claim that after 1991 'we were preparing for Russia to be an enemy once again' does not square with the persistent Russian coercion -- sanctions, support for separatism, intimidation -- of its 'near abroad' in the 1990s. Revanchism preceded Nato wariness, because it had never ceased.

Second, Bobbitt is too timid to push his line of thought to its logical conclusion: that if Japan, Poland and Germany are worthy of collective defence by virtue of being 'states of consent', so too is post-2003 Georgia.

Nato membership is beside the point, as the case of Japan shows. …

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