Copenhagen prostitutes offer freebies to climate change delegates

Der Spiegel reports that Copenhagen's mayor has sent postcards to local hotels asking delegates to the upcoming climate conference not to patronize prostitues during their stay in the city. But the city's sex workers are not taking down, and have made it known that they will offer free sex to any conference delegate who can produce one of the postcards:

According to the report, the move has been organized by the Sex Workers Interest Group (SIO).

"This is sheer discrimination. Ritt Bjerregaard is abusing her position as Lord Mayor in using her power to prevent us carrying out our perfectly legal job. I don't understand how she can be allowed to contact people in this way," SIO Spokeswoman Susanne Møller tells

Oh, Scandanavia.


Georgia to the rescue... again

World Politics Review's Judah Grunstein casts a skeptical eye at NATO's 7,000 troops pledge, noting that it will consist largely of European troops are already stationed in the country and will have their deployments extended. A big chunk of them will also come from Georgia,  a non-NATO member with an ulterior motive:

But the rest of the troops mentioned are either already deployed, or coming from a country whose desperate, loose cannon leader is pretty much discredited internationally. From a military perspective, Georgia's contribution is welcome news. But from a political perspective, it represents more that country's desperation to join NATO than a grand victory for Obama's new strategy.

According to the Washington Post, NATO officials are counting on at least 900 troops from Georgia. Grunstein thinks it might be as high as 3,300.

Whatever the numbers, I'm not sure why Mikheil Saakashvili thinks that helping out NATO in Afghanistan will be any more effective at currying international favor than helping out in Iraq. Georgia, at one point, had 2,000 soldiers in Iraq, the third largest contingent after the U.S. and Britain. But NATO membership appears no more likely today than it did three years ago and the U.S. military support Georgia was expecting when Russian tanks rolled in never materialized. No matter how many troops Georgia sends, it's not going to change the fact that NATO has no desire to incur Russian wrath by admitting a recently invaded country coping with two breakaway regions. 

Yes, Georgia receives U.S. miltiary aid and training, but even that is conditional. The U.S. has made it clear that it is training Georgia in counterinsurgency techniques for use in Afghanistan and not "skills that would be useful against a large conventional force like Russia’s." In other words, we'll train to help out with our security priorities, just not yours.

Participating in these missions is generally not as effective a method of gaining U.S. favor as countries think it is. As Polish journalist Adam Michnik noted yesterday,"We are everywhere where the American army fights -- Afghanistan, Iraq -- and thankful America doesn't even remove the visas for Polish people to come to America!"

Countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan have managed to turn their militaries into "rent-an-armies" for U.N. peacekeeping missions in exchange for military aid, but in terms of winning geopolitical concessions, sending thousands of your soldiers into a conflict where you have no particular strategic interest doesn't seem very effective.