It seems that the crisis in US-Russian relations becomes more and more problematic for the Pentagon. Two key politicians in the US defense structure – Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, - said that the United States should develop cooperation with Russia. The Pentagon chief particularly stated that he did not see any threat from Russia, whereas Admiral Mullen claimed that the USA and Russia shared mutual interests, and that the relations between the two countries would be highly important in the future.
Mike Mullen spoke about the importance of cooperation with Russia in Los Angeles at the forum organized by non-governmental organization Town Halls. The admiral is certain that the two countries must continue their cooperation despite fundamental differences in the approaches of Russia and the USA to the events in the Caucasus.
The admiral believes that the solution of the Iranian nuclear problem and the work in the field of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons are the most important issues of the US-Russian cooperation.
Pentagon’s chief Robert Gates also doubted the need for the USA and NATO to ruin relations with Russia because of Georgia.
"It's hard for me to imagine that those who are currently in NATO feel a real military threat coming from Russia," he said. "To the degree there is a sense of concern, my guess is it has more to do with pressure and intimidation than it does with any prospect of real military action."
It is worthy of note that Gates made the above-mentioned statement the same day when US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice attacked Russia with criticism and said that Russia was following paranoid and aggressive impulses in its policies.
“Russia and US defense officials have always been better in finding a common language than politicians of the two countries,” the director of Russian and Asian programs of Washington-based World Security Institute, Nikolai Zlobin told The Vremya Novostei newspaper. The expert is certain that the defense administrations of both Russia and the United States would have been able to settle all problems down long ago. “Two generals will always find a common language, whereas politicians always indulge in financial issues and reciprocal accusations. Spokespeople for both Russian and American defense departments have repeatedly exercised their ability to negotiate the issues of missile defense and the Caucasus during the recent several years. However, big problems would always arise as soon as politicians became involved in those issues,” the expert said.
The Russian forces destroyed a column of NATO armoured vehicles that had been delivered to the Ukrainian army.