A Little War That Shook the World

Georgia, Russia, and the Future of the West

Ronald D. Asmus

Palgrave Macmillan Trade

The brief war between Russia and Georgia in August 2008 seemed to many like an unexpected shot out of the blue that was gone as quickly as it came. Former Assistant Deputy Secretary of State Ronald Asmus contends that it was a conflict that was prepared and planned for some time by Moscow, part of a broader strategy to send a message to the United States: that Russia is going to flex its muscle in the twenty-first century. A Little War that Shook the World is a fascinating look at the breakdown of relations between Russia and the West, the decay and decline of the Western Alliance itself, and the fate of Eastern Europe in a time of economic crisis.


Praise for A Little War That Shook the World

Praise for A Little War That Shook the World:

"Required reading if you want to know what really happened behind the scenes in the Russo-Georgian war -- and how the West let Tbilisi down in the face of Russian aggression."--Senator John McCain

“[P]rovides a very timely, historically clarifying, geopolitically illuminating analysis of the first post-Cold War East-West military conflict --- and does so with unique insider's knowledge of what actually did happen… an important statement and a very good read!” -- Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor and author of The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership

"Ron Asmus has been an original thinker, diplomat and the go-to expert on Central and Eastern Europe for the more than 20 years that I have known him.  His writing should be required reading for those who care about Europe and its neighborhood, and his account of the August 2008 Russo-Georgia war is one that no one who cares about the region should miss."--Madeleine K. Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, 1997-2001

 "I can think of few individuals more qualified to judge the background to, nature of and consequences of the five-day war between Russia and Georgia than Ron Asmus. With unique access to key actors, he discribes the political background of what happened in a way no one else could have done. The book is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the Caucasus, Europe, the transatlantic relations as well as the Russia of today – and tomorrow."--Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden

"Mr. Asmus writes with authority." --The Economist

“Ronald Asmus has given us a detailed, gripping and disturbing account of the latest war on a continent that claims to be at peace.  He does not disguise his sympathies, but is scrupulously fair in attempting to untangle what really  happened, and to be fair to all sides.  It should be a starting point for a sadly missing debate.”--Tim Garton Ash

“Credible and convincing.”—Financial Times

"Mr. Asmus's book offers the details.  And clarity." --John Vincour, New York Times


Praise for Opening NATO’s Door:

"Detailed... impressive." --Foreign Affairs

"Asmus shares his ringside seat with his readers, which can be most informative, and great fun." --Robert G. Kaiser, The Washington Post

"It is a marvelous story, must reading for anyone interested in American foreign policy and the future of our relations with Europe and Russia." --Richard C. Holbrooke, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations


Reviews from Goodreads



  • Ronald D. Asmus

  • Ronald Asmus is executive director of the Brussels-based Transatlantic Center and responsible for Strategic Planning at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.  He is the former deputy assistant secretary of state for European Affairs during President Clinton’s second term. He has published numerous essays over the years on US-European relations, including in Foreign Affairs, Survival, the American Interest and Policy Review.  He is the author of Opening Nato's Door, a contributor to The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic, and others, and is a commentator in both the American and European news media. He lives in Brussels, Belgium.





    Available Formats and Book Details

    A Little War That Shook the World

    Georgia, Russia, and the Future of the West

    Ronald D. Asmus