U.S. Security Cooperation With Georgia
The United States remains firmly committed to Georgia’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, as well as supporting Georgia’s efforts to build on its remarkable democratic and economic progress over the past decade.
The United States has a robust and enduring security partnership with Georgia, focused on enhancing Georgia’s ability to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity and improve its defensive capabilities as it advances on the path toward NATO membership. At the July 2018 Brussels Summit the United States and its NATO Allies reaffirmed their prior commitment, made in Bucharest in 2008, that Georgia would become a member of NATO.
A Growing Defense Partnership
- Since 2009, the United States has engaged with Georgia at a senior level through the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission, which Secretary of State Pompeo last hosted in May 2018. The Commission’s Security and Defense Working Group last met in September 2017, where the two sides committed to deepen their cooperation in the areas of defense readiness, counterterrorism, border and maritime security, and defense and security institutional reform. At the Commission’s May 2018 Democracy and Governance Working Group meeting, the two sides agreed to prioritize reforms to strengthen parliamentary oversight over government ministries, in order to strengthen transparency and accountability, particularly for security services and law enforcement entities.
- Since 2014, the United States invested $117.3 million in U.S. security assistance for Georgia under the Department of State’s Title 22 authorities. This includes over $109 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF), which Georgia has used to purchase U.S.-manufactured defense articles, training, and services in support of its legitimate defense needs. Georgia’s defense requirements include the care and rehabilitation of Wounded Warriors. The United States and Georgia have established an integrated, interdisciplinary rehabilitation center for Georgia’s 200+ Wounded Warriors, similar to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, which is partially funded by $2.5 million in FMF assistance.
- Georgia received $8.3 million in International Military Education and Training (IMET) funding, which funds the education of foreign military personnel at DoD institutions of higher learning.
- The Department of Defense (DoD) provided $42.8 million in FY2016 and FY2017 funding under its Section 1206 and Section 333 authorities, which serve to build the capacity of partner security forces.
- In February 2017, the United State and Georgia launched the three-year bilateral Georgia Defense Readiness Program (GDRP). In May 2018, U.S. Army advisors began mentoring Georgian Armed Forces personnel during the training and evaluation of light infantry companies. GDRP endeavors to improve Georgia’s self-sustainable institutional capacity to generate, train and sustain forces in preparation for all national missions.
- Since 2009, U.S. Marines have trained and deployed Georgian soldiers in support of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan. The Georgia Deployment Program-RSM is funded by the Coalition Readiness Support Program (CRSP), totaling approximately $200M in funding from 2010-2018.
- In January 2018, Georgia purchased the U.S. Javelin anti-tank weapons system and first tranche of missiles with national funds ($75M) through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system.
- From 2014 through August 2018, the United States authorized over $18 million in defense articles to Georgia via the Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) process. The top categories of DCS to Georgia include: firearms, electronics, ammunition/ordnance, and fire control, laser, and imaging.
- By October 2018, the Georgian Coast Guard take delivery on four former U.S. Coast Guard 82- and 110-foot patrol boats under the Excess Defense Articles program. These vessels were refurbished and upgraded with a combination of FMF assistance and Georgian national funds. These vessels significantly enhance Georgia’s maritime patrol capability in the Black Sea, serve to counter illicit trade and proliferation in its maritime zones, and further Georgia’s NATO interoperability goals.
Saving Lives Through Conventional Weapons Destruction
- As a result of both the Georgian Civil War, which ended in 1993, and Russia’s 2008 invasion and continued occupation of Georgian territory in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, landmines and unexploded munitions remain a clear and present danger in many communities living near former Soviet military installations and along the Administrative Boundary Line.
- From 1998 to 2016, the United States invested more than $32.7 million in conventional weapons destruction (CWD) programs in Georgia. The United States prioritizes survey and clearance operations of contaminated areas identified as having a direct humanitarian impact.
- Through CWD programs, the United States and Georgia work together to support training, survey and clearance operations, and safe disposal of landmines and other explosive hazards, as well as destruction of excess and aging stockpiles of conventional ammunition and small arms and light weapons, preventing potential proliferation risks.
Peacekeeping and Exercises
- Georgia is the largest non-NATO contributor to NATO training missions in Afghanistan. Since 2010, Georgia deployed over 16,000 soldiers in support of the International Security Assistance Force and Resolute Support Mission, and provided more troops per-capita than any other country in the world.
- Georgia also participated in NATO and EU peacekeeping operations. From 1999-2008, 2,259 its service members served in the Kosovo Force (KFOR) mission, providing a company-sized unit as part of the German brigade and an infantry platoon within a Turkish battalion task force. From 2006-2008, Georgia deployed a combat infantry brigade in support of U.S. forces in Iraq. In 2015, Georgia contributed a company-sized unit to the European Union Military Operation in the Central African Republic (EUFOR RCA).
- Georgia hosts annual significant military exercises including the U.S.-led Noble Partner and Agile Spirit. Approximately 1,400 U.S. service members participated in the August 2018 iteration of Noble Partner, the first exercise to demonstrate and live fire Georgia Javelins along with U.S. attack helicopters, M1A1 tanks, M2A3 Bradley fighting vehicles, and Stryker vehicles.
For further information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at PM-CPA@state.gov, and follow the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on Twitter, @StateDeptPM.