"I have reached a decision to halt the operation to force the Georgian authorities to peace . . . The aggressor has been punished and has incurred very significant losses. Its armed forces are disorganized."Of course, "announcing a halt to military operations" and actually "halting" could turn out to be different things. But taking the Russians at their word, then what?
From CNN's announcement, Russia wants three things:
The point about removing President Saakashvili is something the U. S. should insist on as well.
1. A demilitarized zone around South Ossetia to deter future attacks;
2. That Georgian peacekeepers be removed from the previously joint Russian/ Georgian peacekeeping force in South Ossetia;
3. That President Saakashvili be removed from office.
Saakashvili's decision to attack South Ossetia was a monumental blunder that brought enormous harm to Georgia and risked creating a military confrontation between the U. S. and Russia.
At the very least, we should suggest to our Georgian friends that they hold new elections.