In one of his last AFF posts, James ponders independence for the statelets:
Indeed, recognition affords the West a powerful opportunity to explain to Russia that once you play this game, you must play it fair, i.e. both statelets must not become mere Russian garrison states. Sure, there will be bases. But we know how this works; we know the difference between Qatar and Kosovo.
That’s true. Qatar has oil, and Kosovo has none. Okay, that was an easy shot. Unlike Kosovo, Qatar is not plagued with drug traffickers, mafiosi and terrorists masquerading as a legitimate government, and it does not go through the farce of holding elections whose outcome is already determined. Unlike Kosovo, Qatar has some reason to exist as an independent state, and its independence has some legal justification. Qatar is a satellite state that basically does what it is told, while Kosovo is a wild card whose independence will come back to haunt us and Europe.
While I’m on the subject, the Georgians have less claim to Abkhazia and South Ossetia than the Serbs have to Kosovo, but that’s no reason for people to go around recognizing enclaves. The sort of logic employed in partitioning Serbia and Georgia does not bode well for multiethnic states that border powerful neighbors.