A military expert in Congress is watching closely the developments as Russia invades Georgia in a dispute over a portion of that country that is often characterized as pro-Russian.

The dispute between Russia and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia might seem far away, but West-Central Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton says America can play a role in resolving the conflict. Skelton says the US could join with European countries in intervening and bringing the two sides to negotiate an end to the conflict.

At the center of the dispute is South Ossetia, a pro-Russian enclave in eastern Georgia. Russia accuses Georgia of attacking Ossetia. Georgia accuses Russia of ethnic cleansing. Russia has deployed 9-Thousand additional troops and 350 armored vehicles.

Skelton says tension is high in the area. He says much of the conflict is fueled by emotion. Skelton says Russia has become aggressive as it attempts to regain the stature it lost in the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Download/listen Brent Martin reports (1:10 MP3)