Secretary of Defense Robert Gates continued blaming Russia as the culprit in recent events in Georgia while conveniently ignoring the role played by Bush actions which helped to precipitate the violence. He accused Russia of “mauling and menacing small democracies” but did acknowledge contemporary Russia was not the same threat to world peace as the former Soviet Union. He also warned Russian leaders they may have achieved a Pyrrhic victory which will cost their nation in the long run. In his view, Medvedev and Putin were trying to “recapture past glory along with past territory” but it will be a costly venture into returning to olden days and tactics. “In reality, Russia’s policies are born of a grievance-based desire to dominate its near abroad, not an ideology based effort to dominate the globe.”
At no point did Gates acknowledge that Bush plans to construct missile bases on the border of Russia might have been interpreted as an act of aggression. At not point did the Republican leader admit it was Georgia’s rash actions which created the problem.