Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pentagon boss slams Russia but plays down threat

By Andrew Gray

BLENHEIM PALACE (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates accused Moscow on Friday of "mauling and menacing small democracies" but said today's Russia did not pose a threat to the world like the Soviet Union.

Gates also said Russia's recent military action in Georgia was a Pyrrhic victory -- costing Moscow far more in the long term than any short-term gains it achieved.

"The Russian leadership might seek to exorcise past humiliations and aspire to recapture past glory along with past territory," he said. "But mauling and menacing small democracies does not a great power make."

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