Vice president’s trip

The World

Cheney will make stops in Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Geogian�all former Soviet states and all of vital strategic interest to the U.S. Georgia is the most pressing concern of the three because of the heightened tensions in the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. This analyst says Cheney’s trip won’t solve Georgia’s problem, even though Cheney will likely reiterate his support for Georgia. This analyst says Cheney’s options are limited. This analyst says the Cheney visit is not a show of power, but rather a show of impotency. The argument goes that the U.S. has put diplomatic capital not so much in the state of Georgia, but the regime of its president, so it’s been hard to criticize the Georgian president at this point. This analyst says the U.S. should’ve criticized the Georgian president for invading South Ossetia. Cheney is unlikely to press Georgia’s President on democratic reform this week, but nevertheless this analyst says Cheney has a mission to accomplish and its credibility is on the line. Cheney is scheduled to end his trip in Italy, where Italy’s Berlusconi has been a big supporter of America’s foreign policy. Accordingly, the U.S. is hoping it can use Italy to influence Germany, who’s been reluctant to criticize Russia as vocally as other European countries. This analyst says Cheney’s hostility is a danger when it comes to foreign policy as well, and it could end the trip with increased tensions.

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