Georgian experts, ex-top officials request permanent presence of US army in Georgia

  • The letter says that the presence of the US army in Georgia would deter imminent threats and help Georgia move closer to NATO membership.Photo: Rustavi 2., 17 Nov 2020 - 10:42, Tbilisi,Georgia

Forty-five representatives of the Georgian security and foreign policy community have requested a permanent presence of American armed forces in Georgia in an open letter to the US State Secretary Mike Pompeo, who will visit Georgia later today. 

The letter says that such a policy may include allied (US/European) forces on a rotational basis, as well as logistical and air patrolling elements that would provide a wide range of options for American and allied forces ‘to operate uninterrupted’ in the South Caucasus and Black Sea regions.  

At the same time, the US military presence in Georgia would enjoy overwhelming popular support, deter imminent threats and help Georgia move closer to NATO membership,” said the letter. 

The letter says: 'We fully support the process of strengthening the US-Georgia alliance, inclusive of the presence of the US military on the ground, to the benefit of shared Euro-Atlantic security." Photo: Nino Alavidze/ 

The letter reads that in recent years, the South Caucasus and the Black Sea regions ‘have become areas of geopolitical instability’.  

Most of these security risks stem from Russia’s ambitions to reconstitute a Soviet-era ‘sphere of influence,’ in what Moscow perceives as its ‘Near Abroad.’  Emboldened by its freedom of action, Russia recently deployed troops to Nagorno-Karabakh to enhance its regional military posture,” said the letter. 

The letter says that for Georgia, the United States ‘is a vital ally and likewise, we believe in Georgia’s share in bolstering Western interests in Europe and globally.’