Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sent a strong message to Russia yesterday, saying that the Cold War is over. But commentators today have said that Russia has little to fear when it comes to retaliation from the West, and they argue the U.S. and Europe have few diplomatic tools at their disposal and they're ruling out using force. However, the U.S. Defense Secretary warned today that this situation could threaten U.S.-Russian relations for years to come. This analyst says Washington needed to take a firmer stand with Russia before this crisis started, but he says now the U.S. needs to proceed carefully while still working towards a ceasefire in Georgia. One price for Russia to pay might be its inclusion in the G8 group of major industrial countries and other such organizations, like the World Trade Organization. Some have suggested that to really get Moscow's attention, the IOC could threaten to pull Russia's bid to host the winter Olympics in 2014. For its part, Russia remained defiant today and he said this is the first time Russia has used its military since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
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