According to Robert Larsson, security policy analyst at FOI and editor of the report, the war shows that Russia has chosen its direction and given itself new rules to follow.
The after effects of the war are still ongoing, but several general conclusions can already be made:
Europe’s security policy has been weakened as a result of Russia’s actions. It is not the conflict itself that caused the deterioration, but that Russia has chosen to lower its threshold for when to use force.
A local war changes the global, strategic playing field. The war illustrates that an isolated incident in the Caucasus can unleash forces that very rapidly impair security policy in Europe, including the Baltic Sea region.
When Russia challenges the world, the mechanisms of the international community become paralyzed. The agreements and international fora that are in place to handle security policy issues have been blocked after the war in Georgia.
The report also concludes that:
For Russia, the western world’s lack of action during a number of incidents is also a litmus test for which of the various foreign policy instruments can be used.
The war in Georgia also puts several of NATO’s core issues to the test: what do a NATO membership and the alliance’s reciprocal defence obligations entail in practice?
The European policy with regard to Russia that is based on integration and confidence-building has not worked.
“The risk for new incidents that from a western perspective can appear improbable, irrational and counterproductive has increased,” concludes Robert Larsson.