U.S. to Review Mil­i­tary Aid to Geor­gia

By John J. Kruzel
Amer­i­can Forces Press Service 

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2008 - The Pen­ta­gon will send an assess­ment team to Geor­gia to deter­mine what role the U.S. should play as the nation’s mil­i­tary rebuilds after clash­es with Rus­sia, a Defense Depart­ment offi­cial said today.
“The Depart­ment of Defense is send­ing an assess­ment team to Tbil­isi lat­er this week to help us begin to con­sid­er care­ful­ly Georgia’s legit­i­mate needs and our response,” Eric S. Edel­man, under­sec­re­tary of defense for pol­i­cy, told mem­bers of the Sen­ate Armed Ser­vices Committee. 

After the assess­ment, offi­cials will review how the Unit­ed States will be able to sup­port the recon­struc­tion of Geor­gia, includ­ing armed forces aid, Edel­man told the lawmakers. 

Offi­cials in the Geor­gian cap­i­tal of Tbil­isi report­ed­ly are eager to rebuild a Geor­gian mil­i­tary that fold­ed as Russ­ian forces invad­ed the break­away province of South Osse­tia ear­ly last month after an attack by Geor­gian forces. Russ­ian troops report­ed­ly remain in the for­mer Sovi­et repub­lic in defi­ance of a cease-fire deal reached Aug. 13. 

Pres­i­dent Bush last week pledged to pro­vide $1 bil­lion in non­mil­i­tary aid to Geor­gia, which sup­ple­ments the more than 2 mil­lion pounds of human­i­tar­i­an sup­plies the Unit­ed States mil­i­tary has deliv­ered over pre­vi­ous weeks. But Edelman’s state­ments today mark the first time a defense pol­i­cy official’s pub­lic endorse­ment of U.S. aid to Geor­gia has includ­ed a mil­i­tary recon­struc­tion component. 

“Geor­gia, like any sov­er­eign coun­try, should have the abil­i­ty to defend itself and deter renewed aggres­sion,” he said. “There should not be any ques­tion about whether Geor­gia is enti­tled to mil­i­tary assis­tance from the Unit­ed States or, indeed, from NATO or any of the NATO allies.” 

Edel­man said the Unit­ed States has played a sig­nif­i­cant role for sev­er­al years in prepar­ing Geor­gian forces to con­duct coun­tert­er­ror­ism mis­sions, but offered no indi­ca­tion of what type of mil­i­tary aid the Unit­ed States might pro­vide in the future. 

A sep­a­rate assess­ment team cur­rent­ly in Geor­gia is siz­ing up the loss­es sus­tained by the mil­i­tary, Edel­man said. 

“They’re look­ing at var­i­ous aspects of this, try­ing to assess first the dam­age to the Geor­gian mil­i­tary forces, under­stand what has been lost in terms of equip­ment and facil­i­ties, and get some sense of the scope of what it would take to just rebuild that capa­bil­i­ty,” he said of the assess­ment team in Geor­gia now. 

Edel­man urged that the Unit­ed States be “mea­sured and cal­i­brat­ed” in its response. He added that the Unit­ed States “does not seek a new Cold War.” 

“It requires, first, under­stand­ing the sit­u­a­tion in terms of capa­bil­i­ty that exists, capa­bil­i­ty that might need to be built and reach­ing some under­stand­ing with Geor­gia about what capa­bil­i­ties it thinks it needs and how they might be employed,” he said of the sequenced response. 

NATO, which cre­at­ed an ad hoc group Aug. 19 to over­see the alliance’s rela­tion­ship with Geor­gia, will send an addi­tion­al assess­ment team to help shape the organization’s response, Edel­man said. 

NATO has also decid­ed to assist Geor­gia in assess­ing the dam­age caused by Russ­ian mil­i­tary action, includ­ing to the Geor­gian armed forces, and to help restore crit­i­cal ser­vices nec­es­sary for nor­mal pub­lic life and eco­nom­ic activ­i­ty,” he said. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →