That’s what David Ignatius of the Washington Post thinks:
The Georgia strategy is premised on working jointly with European allies and on avoiding the sort of unilateral U.S. military threats that would scare them off. It is also tempered by the administration’s earlier mistakes in dealing with mercurial Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, which set the stage for his unwise Aug. 7 attack on South Ossetia that provoked the punishing Russian reaction. It’s a policy, in short, that distills some of the foreign policy lessons learned at the shank end of the Bush presidency. And its contours, interestingly enough, arguably are closer to the thrust of Barack Obama’s initial, cautious reaction to the Georgia crisis than to the more confrontational approach of John McCain.
OK, that doesn’t make very much sense, especially pushing the argument that Russia had a right to invade Georgia. But the conclusion makes more sense … that is if we were still in early summer:
The administration wants to keep Putin from driving Russia off a cliff. They view his successor, President Dmitry Medvedev, as a man who understands that Russia’s future is as a 21st-century power. They want to avoid a strategy that unintentionally undermines Medvedev and bolsters the Putin camp.