Wall Street Journal: “America’s Vital Interests Are at Stake in Georgia”

Donald Rumsfeld, former United States Secretary of Defence. Photo from Huffington Post.
Agenda.ge, Nov 23, 2016, Tbilisi, Georgia

"The Republic of Georgia has again demonstrated its deep commitment to Western values.”

"Through the ballot box and for the second time in four years, Georgians last month showcased their sound democracy, vibrant pluralistic society and deep commitment to the values of the trans-Atlantic community. Results of this year’s parliamentary elections repeated and deepened the positive outcomes of their previous election in 2012.”

These words belong to former United States (US) Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld. On November 22, The Wall Street Journal published Rumsfeld’s article about Georgia, its role in global security and NATO’s attitudes towards the country.

Rumsfeld wrote that nearly unique among the new states formed from the old U.S.S.R., Georgia’s main parties all subscribed to and campaigned on Georgia’s strong attachment to Europe and NATO, and all favoured a strong strategic anchor with the US.

"Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili told me and stated publicly that this process is "irreversible,” a sentiment that resonates throughout Georgian society,” the former high official said.

He named what the US could do to support "these solid achievements” in Georgia and the aspirations behind them.

"First, the barriers in Georgia’s pathway to NATO membership should be removed, and Georgia should receive a membership action plan without further delay,” he said.

Rumsfeld stressed that Russia offers predictable complaints that for Georgia to join NATO would be a provocation. He added that concern about Russia’s probable reaction persuaded some NATO members that Georgia’s move toward NATO should be delayed.

"The West’s security interests should not be held hostage to Russian disapproval,” Rumsfeld said.

"The US should act now to deepen its engagement with Georgia, not as an act of philanthropy but because America’s vital interests are at stake there,” he believed.
"The people of Georgia have shown what good governance, strong democracy and an attachment to Western values can accomplish, even against daunting odds. Georgia is an ally we need and should welcome.”

Read the full article here: www.wsj.com