This analyst was a top U.S. diplomat during the Clinton administration, and he says these three regions have articulated a desire for independence but the means for gaining independence have been vastly different: in 1999, the Serbian military invasion and commission of atrocity crimes did trigger an international process to step in and try to sort out the mess. He says there's been no comparable process in South Ossetia or Abkhazia. He says those regions have gone about independence through self-determination, but the Russians have added to their call by forcing it on the international community. And the international response has largely been negative. Russia felt just as strongly about an independent Kosovo and it argued Kosovo should remain a part of Serbia. Many pundits argue Russia's actions regarding South Ossetia and Abkhazia are payback for the West's actions in encouraging Kosovo's independence. This analyst says neither side is necessarily to blame for the current conflict, but the conflict does highlight the need for a better process of handling self-determination and independence regardless of the region or people involved.

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