War could erupt between Russia and Georgia, forcing the United States and its European allies to decide whether to intervene or suffer the consequences of a Russian victory. ~Robert Kagan

Whenever Kagan moves from description to prescription or prediction, what is an otherwise unremarkable analysis of the current state of affairs quickly turns into a veritable self-parody of neoconservative foreign policy views.  Whatever would we do if we suffered the consequences of a Georgian defeat?  Imagine, Tbilisi in Russian control!  Why, it would be…just like it was for close to two uninterrupted centuries before the collapse  of the USSR.  Somehow the world survived Russian control of Georgia before, and I suspect we would manage to muddle through in the event that Russia acquired the territory again.  It would annoy all of those folks who went to the trouble of routing a major oil pipeline around Russia and sending it through the Caucasus, but otherwise I cannot imagine why anyone (outside Georgia, that is) would be unduly troubled.  The idea of intervening against the other major nuclear power over Georgia is simply mad.  Is the independence of Sakartvelos worth risking WWIII or anything like it?  Of course it isn’t.  

Of course, speaking as an Orthodox Christian, I think it would be terrible for there to be a war between Russia and Georgia, and I have deplored the acrimony fostered by both governments.  However, if there were a war, I can also say with confidence that it would not meaningfully damage the United States or Europe at all.