Wed Aug 13th, 2008 at 01:45:58 PM EST
The Press Association reports US plans to send troops to Georgia.
The US is to send troops to embattled Georgia in the form of a humanitarian aid exercise, President George Bush said.
Mr Bush said military planes would deliver supplies in a move which would put American forces in the heart of the region.
Bush, in a prepared statement, said:
I've also directed Secretary of Defense Bob Gates to begin a humanitarian mission to the people of Georgia, headed by the United States military. This mission will be vigorous and ongoing. A U.S. C-17 aircraft with humanitarian supplies is on its way. And in the days ahead we will use U.S. aircraft, as well as naval forces, to deliver humanitarian and medical supplies.
The NY Times adds, Bush Sends Aid to Georgia:
Bush said Wednesday ... that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would travel to France and then to Georgia to work for a settlement of the crisis...
Mr. Bush said a transport plane with medical supplies was already on its way to Georgia, and that American air and naval forces would carry out the humanitarian mission. And he said pointedly that Russia must not interfere with aid coming into Georgia by air, land or water.
The president of Georgia described this as a "turning point".
However, minutes after Mr. Bush's comments, the Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili characterized the import of the American aid as "definitely an American military presence" and called it a "turning point."
According to Dan Eggen reporting for the Washington Post in Bush Warns Russia to Honor Cease-Fire Agreement:
But Bush again offered little indication of a concrete threat to Russia if it does not stand down and remove troops from Georgia, a staunch U.S. ally that contributed troops to the war in Iraq and has sought membership in NATO.
Indeed, the Russian press seems more concerned with the "demand to leave Georgia" made by Bush, than the sending of humanitarian aid to assist Georgia. RIA Novosti reports (Google machine translation):
|Буш потребовал, чтобы все российские войска покинули территорию Грузии|
Все российские войска должны покинуть территорию Грузии, заявил президент США Джордж Буш.
"Мы ожидаем от России, что она выполнит свое обязательство по прекращению всех военных действий в Грузии, и мы ожидаем, что все российские силы, которые вошли в последние дни в Грузию, будут выведены из этой страны", - сказал Буш, выступая в среду в Розовом саду Белого дома с заявлением по Грузии.
При этом президент США вновь, во второй раз за последние три дня, подверг критике действия России.
|Bush demanded that all Russian troops left the territory of Georgia|
All Russian troops must leave the territory of Georgia, said U.S. President George W. Bush.
"We expect from Russia that it will fulfil its commitment to halt all military action in Georgia, and we expect that all Russian forces that entered in recent days in Georgia, will be withdrawn from that country" - said Bush, speaking Wednesday in the White House Rose Garden, a statement on Georgia.
At the same time, U.S. President again, for the second time in the past three days, criticized the actions of Russia.
From his statement, Bush said:
We expect Russia to meet its commitment to cease all military activities in Georgia. And we expect all Russian forces that entered Georgia in recent days to withdraw from that country.
I suspect the Bush administration will try to portray this as equivalent to the Berlin Airlift or other humanitarian aid gestures made by the United States more recently. Right now, I see this as only escalating the tensions between the parties involved. If anything, the direct involvement by the United States will encourage the Russians to stay put so as not to be seen as swaying to U.S. pressure.
Cross-posted from Daily Kos.