According to Nikolas Gvosdev, the NATO summit was far from a failure for President Bush, who walked away with an alliance endorsement of his potentially divisive missile defense plans, as well as 700 French troops for Afghanistan. (For any French language readers, Jean-Dominique Merchet of Secret Défense explains that when you factor in previous French training commitments and their rotating command of the OHQ in Kaboul, that will actually come to more than a thousand new French boots on the ground.)
Gvosdev thinks that by fobbing the defeat of Ukraine and Georgia’s MAP’s on Germany, France and “Old Europe”, Bush actually goes into his strategic talks with Vladimir Putin in pretty good shape. Vlad’s happy, Ukraine and Georgia blame Merkel and Sarkozy instead of Bush, and the missile defense plan has a united alliance behind it. Counterintuitive, but there’s a certain logic to it.