INTEGRATION OF GEORGIA IN A NATO CJTF
1. SUMMARY. Georgia is a key ally to the United States and NATO countries in the Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey (GAAT) region since they declared their independence in 1991. Georgia has supported NATO led operations as early as 1999. Georgian troops have worked alongside NATO troops in Kosovo from 1999-2008. Currently, Georgia has an infantry battalion and company serving in Afghanistan and medical personnel and staff officers serving within the Lithuania Provisional Reconstruction Team. They also conduct counter-terrorist maritime surveillance operation in support of NATO??™s Operation Active Endeavour. Georgia is the second largest contributors to ISAF among NATO??™s partner countries. Georgia is also a key strategic location within the GAAT region. There are two Sea Ports of Debarkations (SPOD) on the Black Sea and 11 Air Ports of Debarkation (APOD) to conduct Reception, Staging, Onward-movement & Integration (RSOI) operations. The United States Army Engineers have also have assisted Georgia with the upgrading of the transportation infrastructure from the Port of Batumi to Baku, Azerbaijan. Georgia is a vital link to the region and would provide a key staging point to conduct all phases of military operations. It would be advantageous to NATO to integrate Georgia into the CJTF.
a. General: Since inception, Georgia-NATO relations date back to 1992, when Georgia joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. Georgia has actively contributed to several NATO-led operations to include, peacekeeping operations in Kosovo, Lithuanian Provincial Reconstruction Team, Operation Active Endeavour and ISAF operations in Afghanistan. Georgia Joined NATO??™s Partnership for Peace in 1994 and is a member of the European Union??™s (EU??™s) Eastern Partnership program. They are actively seeking full membership into NATO. The United States has also provided financial support to Georgia since 2002 and has also actively engaged in Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) events. Georgia enjoys a flourishing economy and benefits economically from the Baku??“Tbilisi??“Ceyhan (BTC) Pipeline. It is in the nation??™s best interest to maintain stability in the region and preserve the current hydrocarbon infrastructure.
b. Military and Political Considerations:
1) Capabilities: Georgia is a key NATO ally in the region. The nation is capable of supporting the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) and geographically essential to conduct all military operations in the region (logistical capabilities will be discussed further in para c, Host Nation Support). The military has limited capabilities with a total force of 20,655 (smallest among South Caucasus States). They have limited manpower due to the need to provide security along the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions, which is currently occupied by Russian troops. They rely on NATO interoperability to assist in securing their borders. Most of Georgia??™s military equipment is supplied by the United States and lack defensive weapons.
2) Integration: Georgia has had a history of working well with NATO and U.S. troops. In 1999, Georgia provided troops to NATO in support of operations in Kosovo. These Soldiers fell under German and Turkish commands. In 2011, Georgia provided a full infantry battalion which served with United States??™ forces, and an infantry company serving with the French contingent in Kabul, Afghanistan. Georgia also provided medical personnel and staff officers to assist ISAF within the Lithuanian Provincial Reconstruction Team. Georgia had been the second largest contributor to ISAF among NATO??™s partner countries.
3) Employment: Georgia has provided troops to NATO missions in a variety of different roles to include combat operations, engineer and medical support, counter-terrorist maritime surveillance operations and mountain training. Georgia can best be served by conducting area security (AS), main supply route security (MSR), lines of communication security (LOC), and port security.
c. Host Nation Support: After September, 2001, Georgian president Shevardnadze offered Georgian airspace and territory for U.S. coalition operations. Georgia owns two SPODs on the Black Sea, the Port of Poti and the Port of Batumi. It has 11 APODs located throughout the country, six public and five military. Georgia has the capability to support CJTF RSOI operations and receive all personnel and equipment. The United States and Georgia are currently modernizing their transportation infrastructure capable of supporting large quantities of traffic and heavy equipment. The U.S. Army engineers have been engaged in upgrading the Georgian infrastructure as well as the rail system from Batumi to Baku. The US also increased security cooperation and economic development activities. The U.S. maintains programs of refugee assistance and public works in Georgia. Georgia provides the infrastructure and regional requirements necessary to conduct all phases of military operations in the region. C2 in tblissi
d. Unified Action: The Georgian government will be essential to coordinating unified action within their borders. The Georgian government has the ability to synchronize and integrates multinational operations with the operations of intergovernmental and nongovernmental agencies within the operational area. The Georgian military and Interior Ministry Troops have the ability to facilitate the maneuver of military personnel and equipment with little to no interference with the local populace. They can provide vital intelligence of potential threats in the operational area. U.S. and Georgian forces have had a history of working together through joint operations and security cooperation. The Georgian forces have a basic knowledge of U.S. military doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP) and standard operating procedures (SOP). This will reduce the limitations on training and certifying the Georgian military on specific mission standards.
3. CONCLUSION. It is recommended that Georgia be included into a NATO led GAAT multinational operation.
* Georgia offers a vital strategic location in the GAAT region to conduct all types of military operations throughout the region
* Georgia possesses the logistical infrastructure (modernized highway and rail system, multiple SPODS and APODS) to support all types of military operations throughout the region.
* Georgia has an admirable history of contributions and support of NATO, European Union, and U.S. operations
* Georgia has experience with partnering with partner nations and can be easily integrated into CJTF operations
* Georgia will continue to provide military support to NATO operations
* Georgia has the experience and knowledge of U.S. military doctrine and readily trained and certified on specific military standards
* Georgia has the personnel and infrastructure to facilitate movement of maneuver and support elements throughout the GAAT region