Washington (AP) Pentagon Chief Robert Gates says that if Russia doesn't pull back from Georgia, it could damage Washington-Moscow relations for years to come.
Gates is noting that the Bush administration last year started talks with Russia that officials hoped would be a long-term strategic dialogue. But he now says that Russia's invasion of Georgia and the weeklong fighting that followed has called that into question.
Gates says that if Russia doesn't step back from “its aggressive posture” in Georgia, relations with the U.S. will suffer gravely.
Gates, speaking at his first Pentagon news conference since hostilities started, said he does not foresee a need for use of U.S. Military force there.