GEORGIA TODAY: MILITARY-BUILDING AND THE MILITARY-POLITICAL COURSE
Sergey Minasyan, Ph.D. (Political Science), Deputy Director, Institute of the Caucasus (Erevan, Armenia)
Post-Soviet Georgia pays particular attention to its armed forces and defense and security policy as crucially important elements of its state-building. Its involvement in the armed ethnopolitical conflicts of the 1990s in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as the Five-Day War of August 2008 with Russia, awakened the political elite and the Georgian public to the problems of military security and stirred up a lot of interest in them. Moreover, for a long period in its post-Soviet history, Georgia was stubbornly pursuing NATO membership as one of the key aims of its foreign and defense policy. The Georgian political elite expected it to guarantee an adequate response to national security threats, Russia being perceived as the main source of such threats.
The author analyzes the dynamics of military-building in Georgia after the Five-Day War, the specifics of the development of its armed forces (AF) after the change in power in 2012, the current state of affairs, and the prospects for further development of Georgia’s armed forces. Sergey Minasyan also discusses certain key military-political aspects related in particular to the nature of Georgia-NATO relations and Georgia’s chances of NATO membership.
Keywords: Georgia, NATO, the Five-Day War, Abkhazia, South Ossetia.