… as in pawned. They essentially caved to peer pressure and thumbed their nose at the bully. This Globe and Mail article suggests both the U.S. and Russia are at fault.
globeandmail.com: Georgia in the middle
But under the influence of an energetic neo-con lobby in Washington and with considerable support from Israeli weapons manufacturers and military trainers, Mr. Saakashvili and the hawks around him came to believe the farcical proposition that Georgia’s armed forces could take on the military might of their northern neighbour in a conventional fight and win.