Bush Dispatches Aid to Georgia

Posted August 13, 2008 at 10:56am

President Bush said today that he is ordering U.S. troops to deliver humanitarian assistance to Georgia, placing U.S. forces in proximity to what appears to be ongoing hostilities involving the Russian military. “This mission will be vigorous and ongoing,” Bush said.

Bush, who announced the move today in the Rose Garden, demanded that Russia cease hostilities, withdraw from Georgia, and ensure that supply routes to Georgia remain open. One U.S. cargo plane is already en route, and the United States in coming days will use aircraft and naval forces to deliver supplies.

“We expect Russia to honor its commitment to let in all forms of humanitarian assistance,” Bush said. “We expect Russia to ensure that all lines of communication and transport — including seaports, roads and airspace — remain open for the availability of humanitarian assistance and for civilian transit.”

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel to France to confer with President Nicolas Sarkozy — who is leading efforts to arrange a truce — and then on to Tbilisi to “personally convey America’s unwavering support for Georgia’s democratic government.”

Reaction from Congressional leaders was not immediately available.