A Little War That Shook the World

Georgia, Russia, and the Future of the West

Ronald 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 Changed 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 Changed the World:

"I first came to know Ron Asmus when I was doing research and he was an analyst for Radio Free Europe. As a young reporter, and later as deputy assistant secretary of state for European Affairs, Ron consistently provided leadership and insightful analysis… He possesses a rare combination of skills: he knows how to succeed in practice, and then write a definitive historical account... I have benefited from his hard work and opinions for many years, and have never been disappointed." – Madeleine K. Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, 1997-2001

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

Mr. Asmus’s book offers the details. And clarity." --The New York Times
“Mr Asmus’s work sets a high standard” --The Economist

“[An] absorbing account of the five-day clash in the Caucasus that August. . . . Written with a diplomat’s feel for policy nuance and a journalist’s eye for detail.” --Bloomberg

"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

"A compelling account of why Georgia felt that it had to take action to try to preserve its independence against Russian encirclement and what the Western powers did (and didn't do) to stop the war. Provides some sound conclusions and is strongly recommended for all readers, general or academic, seriously interested in this component of today's international affairs." -- Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Ronald 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 Asmus