If Georgia were in NATO, would NATO now be at war with Russia? More likely, Russia would not be in Georgia.You know those signs you can buy that make it look like you've subscribed to a security alarm system, even though you haven't? That's what admitting Georgia to NATO would have been like. Except that the sign's meaninglessness would have been obvious to the world, most definitely including Vladimir Putin. Who would have had no reason to do anything different than he did. Does George Will really think Putin would have shied away in the face of an obviously hollow treaty obligation?
Only once in NATO's 59 years has the territory of a member been invaded -- the British Falklands, by Argentina, in 1982.This is because the U.S. was in deadly earnest about defending its European allies against the threat of Warsaw Pact tanks rolling westward, not to mention the threat of Russian nukes. That's why we had all those troops in Germany for generations. That's why Mutual Assured Destruction. We were extremely serious about defending Western Europe from the U.S.S.R., and the U.S.S.R. knew it. That's why they never attacked.
We're not that serious about defending Georgia from Russia. Maybe we should be; I don't know. But we sure wouldn't have been that serious last week. And Putin would have known that.