Cory Welt – The Thawing of a Frozen Conflict: the Internal Security Dilemma and the 2004 Prelude to the Russo-Georgian War

While the proximate causes of the 2008 Russo–Georgian war have yet to be satisfactorily investigated, an assessment of an earlier occasion of conflict in South Ossetia in 2004 can lay the groundwork for an analysis of the later war. Like the 2008 war, the 2004 conflict was comprehensible on the basis of the ambitious war plans of opposing sides, but it was ultimately rooted in a security dilemma. The conflict thus provides a precedent for considering how a mix of limited offensive intentions, insecurity, uncertainty, and cognitive shortcuts and misperceptions had the capacity to lead to inadvertent war between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia.

Welt, C. (2010). The thawing of a frozen conflict: the internal security dilemma and the 2004 prelude to the Russo-Georgian War. Europe-Asia Studies62(1), 63-97.

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