Good news from Robert Gates, who is proving himself one of the best people in George Bush’s cabinet.Â While Secretary of State Rice is in Georgia for European diplomatic consumption, Gates implicitly describes Georgia as part of his portfolio as minister of war:
WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned Thursday that if Russia doesn’t pull back from its fighting in Georgia it could hurt Moscow-Washington relations “for years to come.”
Speaking at his first Pentagon news conference since the fighting started, Gates said he does not foresee the need for use of U.S. military force there, however. At his side, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James Cartwright said the military assesses that Russia is “generally complying” with the truce that called for its withdrawal from the hostilities.
We should be preparing to destroy Russian forces that remain in Georgia.Â However, even these current steps to protect Georgia are a good start.