The current Georgia-Russia conflict highlights one of the most pressing foreign policy issues facing the next president: Rising authoritarian tendencies of Mother Russia and its impact on former Soviet nations. Cold War tensions have recently resurfaced in the wake of disagreements on missile defense shields in Eastern Europe, NATO membership to former Soviet nations, energy resources, and a host of other issues. The Weekly Standard blog posted a hawkish statement released by the McCain campaign in response to increased Russian incursions into Georgian territory. News reports have the conflict spreading from South Ossetia to Abkhazia, the other breakaway province. Some analysts blame the the Georgian government for stoking the current conflict with an unnecessary military gamble, and paint the Russians as defenders of their countrymen in the disputed territories. However, the current conflict can not and should not be viewed outside the context of a new Cold War that has been simmering below the surface, with the potential to engulf the entire region. McCain’s statement places the blame squarely on the Russians as the aggressors, and states that the current events should surprise no one in light of deteriorating U.S. relations with Russia.