The United States remains firmly committed to supporting Georgia’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, as well as supporting Georgia’s efforts to build on its democratic and economic progress over the past decade.
The United States enjoys 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 and at all subsequent summits, that Georgia would become a member of NATO.
An Enduring Security Cooperation Partnership
- Since 2009, the United States engaged with Georgia at a senior level through the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission, which Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo last hosted in June 2019. At the 10th anniversary plenary both sides discussed Georgia’s partnership with NATO, cooperation on issues of regional security, and reforms necessary for Georgia to ensure the rule of law and fair elections. Secretary Pompeo reiterated U.S. condemnation of Russia’s occupation of Georgian territory and our steadfast support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Commission’s Security and Defense Working Group met in December 2019 and committed to deepen their cooperation in the areas of defense readiness, cyber security, counterterrorism, border and maritime security, and defense and security institutional reform.
- The United States and Georgia concluded a Defense Cooperation Agreement in 2002 and continue to expand our cooperation. Bilateral security cooperation priorities were captured in a three-year Security Cooperation Framework agreed to by DoD and the Georgian Ministry of Defense and signed in November 2019.
- Since 2015, the United States invested $202 million in U.S. security assistance for Georgia under the Department of State’s Title 22 authorities. This includes over $190 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF), which Georgia used to purchase U.S.-manufactured defense articles, training, and services in support of its national defense needs. Georgia received $35 million in bilateral FMF funds in FY 2019, in addition to $18.5 million of previously unallocated FY 2018 FMF-Overseas Contingency Operations funding in support of the Department’s $142 million Black Sea Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) program, which also includes Ukraine, Bulgaria and Romania.
- In February 2017, the United States and Georgia launched the three-year bilateral Georgia Defense Readiness Program (GDRP) scheduled to conclude in 2021. In May 2018, U.S. Army troops began mentoring Georgian Defense Forces through the training and evaluation of nine light infantry battalions, with U.S. defense advisors using data and lessons learned from these activities to inform parallel institutional reform efforts. GDRP endeavors to improve Georgia’s self-sustainable institutional capacity to generate, train and sustain forces to defend Georgia’s territorial integrity and deter Russia.
- DoD funding, including through Section 333 and the previous Section 2282 authority (together totaling $97 million), was used to fund GDRP, support the development of counterterrorism and MDA capabilities, and provide chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) equipment and training. In FY 2017, DoD provided $34.65 million for GDRP and another $7.7 million for counterterrorism and direction action forces. In FY 2018, DoD used Section 333 to provide $3.4 million in CBRN equipment and training. In FY 2019, DoD provided $2.5 million for CBRN equipment and training and $4.3 million for MDA. In FY 2020, DoD allocated approximately $10 million in Section 333 funding for equipment and training support to the Georgian Special Operations Forces.
- Since 2009, U.S. Marines trained and deployed Georgian soldiers in support of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan. The Georgia Deployment Program-RSM is funded through the Coalition Readiness Support Program (CRSP) and DoD lift-and-sustain authorities, totaling over $200 million in funding from 2010-2018.
- Georgia’s defense requirements include the care and rehabilitation of Wounded Warriors. The United States and Georgia established an integrated, interdisciplinary rehabilitation center for Georgia’s more than 200 Wounded Warriors, which is partially funded by $2.5 million in FMF assistance.
- Since 2015, Georgia has received over $11 million in International Military Education and Training funding, which funds the education of foreign military personnel at DoD institutions of higher learning.
- The United States has $238.6 million in active government-to-government sales cases with Georgia under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system. FMS cases notified to Congress are listed here, and recent and significant prior sales include the January 2018 purchase of the Javelin anti-tank weapons system.
- From 2015 through December 2019, the United States authorized nearly $13 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.
- The Georgian Coast Guard received four former U.S. Coast Guard vessels, including two 82-foot Point-class and two 110-foot Island-class 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 (CWD)
- In addition to inheriting large stockpiles of old and deteriorating Soviet munitions, Georgia was also contaminated with landmines and UXO from the conflicts in the South Ossetia (1991–1992) and Abkhazia (1992–1993) regions of Georgia, and the 2008 conflict with Russia. This contamination was concentrated along the administrative boundary lines of these regions and around former Soviet military bases; however, the remaining significant minefield is near Georgia’s border with Azerbaijan at Red Bridge. In November 2011, all 336 known minefields in the Abkhazia region were declared mine free.
- From 1998 to 2019, the United States provided more than $38.5 million in CWD programs in Georgia supported 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.
- In 2019, The HALO Trust (HALO) completed U.S.-funded operations cleaning up the unplanned munitions explosion at the Primorsky munitions depot in Russian-occupied Abkhazia, clearing 143,673 square meters (36 acres) of land and destroying 23,407 pieces of unexploded ordnance. HALO’s operations at Primorsky are continuing in 2020 with other donor funding.
Peacekeeping and Exercises
- Georgia is the largest non-NATO contributor to NATO’s Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan. Since 2010, Georgia has deployed over 20,000 soldiers in support of the International Security Assistance Force and RSM in Afghanistan 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 of 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 2019, 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 3,300 soldiers from various parts of the world, including 1,500 U.S. service members, participated in exercise Agile Spirit 2019, co-led by Georgian Defense Forces and U.S. Army Europe. The Joint and multinational exercise supported 14 ally and partner nations, affording the opportunity to synchronize and prepare for regional security threats and worldwide contingency operations
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.