Argument: Russia attacked Georgia to halt its NATO membership
"South Ossetia." Global Security.org "Russia has opposed NATO membership for Georgia. Georgia's application for NATO membership was deferred in April 2008 due to the unresolved conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. By exacerbating these conflicts, Russia renders Georgia an un-appetising candidate for NATO membership. A decisive defeat for Georgia could also be seen as a defeat for the United States, and result in diminished American influence in the region."