Well, it's looking like I called it right on Georgia. Putin has administered a slapping and is now backing off. A few thousand people have been rather horribly killed. A couple of billion quids worth of kit and munitions have been written-off. In a week the MSM will have forgotten the story and Edwina Currie's breast implants will be on the front pages. Saakashvili (96% of votes in the last corrupt election) and Putin (71% of votes in a slightly less corrupt election) can go back to loathing one another.
Did anyone else find the EU flag that Saakashvili displayed in every news shot a bit, well, pathetic? Like an Indonesian peasant wearing a Man U shirt? Perhaps he expected the Belgian 4th Brigade to parachute in and start clucking their tongues at the state of the drains before stopping for lunch. Or maybe the Dutch Air Mobile Brigade Special Forces could have made an appearance, and performed the same hiding trick they did so well in Srebrenica as the inhabitants were slaughtered. Or perhaps the entire Luxembourg army, all 450, could have played popular hits of the 80s at the Russians to halt their advance. The Germans of course are banned from actually being Huns anywhere outside their own borders, but could have sent some engineers to plaster over the shell holes and drink lager and trade porn DVDs with the locals.
Nope, there are only two nations in the EU with a military with any use at all - us and the French. And the frogs only fire real bullets at their own civilians at military tattoos these days.
Which leads me to think that Saakashvili wasn't after EU military assistance at all. What he really wanted was a couple of thousand EU bureaucrats to parachute in and assault the Russians with 10,000 word draft Directives, Commission Proposals, an outline Vade Mecum and proposals for legislative codecisions. The lack of 'CE' marking alone on Russian armour would have sent these worthies into spasms of shock; they would insist that shells and rockets conform to standard 'e' sizes and classes before being fired, that contracts for landmines had been advertised correctly in OJEU, that Russian ground attack aircraft had been certified as meeting the Vth Framework Directive on aircraft environmental standards (emissions, noise and recycling of cannon cartridge cases), that body armour and combat uniforms carried the correctly conforming labelling on sizes and cleaning actions and that explosives met the EU residual toxicity limits for the Preservation of Biohabitats.
Putin and Saakashvili are perhaps the last manifestation of initiators of battles for territory fought by soldiers rather than by armies of gray bureaucrats with iPods and water bottles with babies teats on them assaulting each other with prolix 'Word' documents with 'track changes' enabled.