To: The Honorable Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
From: Georgian Security and Foreign Policy Community
Subject: Permanent Presence of American Armed Forces in Georgia

Dear Mr. Secretary,

We, the representatives of the security and foreign policy community of Georgia, sincerely welcome your visit to Tbilisi during these heated times.  We are united in our desire to share our views on advancing the U.S.-Georgia defense and security partnership.  For Georgia, the United States is a vital ally.  Likewise, we believe in Georgia’s share in bolstering Western interests in Europe and globally.  Georgia stands as a keystone for securing our allies’ foothold in the East-West Corridor, which multiple U.S. administrations have invested so much to build.  We see a U.S.-led Euro-Atlantic system as the only guarantor of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace.

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.

Since regaining independence, the freedom-loving citizens of Georgia have toiled to create a functional democracy.  In this project, the United States has been an indispensable ally by elevating Georgia to, in the words of President Ronald Reagan, a “Shining City Upon a Hill” that has overcome state failure and successfully battled the Soviet legacy of corruption.  The Georgian people do not take genuine American friendship for granted.  Over 90 percent of Georgians hold a favorable view of the U.S. and Georgian soldiers have proudly served in the U.S.-led missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We express our profound appreciation for America’s strong support to Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.  We believe that a key step forward to support the Georgian people in our struggle for freedom, while advancing U.S. regional and global interests, would be:

  • A permanent presence of American armed forces in Georgia. Such a policy may include allied (U.S./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 U.S. military presence in Georgia would enjoy overwhelming popular support, deter imminent threats and help Georgia move closer to NATO membership.

At this point, Georgia’s capacity to meaningfully contribute to our strategic partnership will be further enhanced by the resilience and vibrancy of its democratic institutions.  In this light, we welcome the valuable U.S. engagement in mediating a solution to Georgia’s current political crisis.  We are likewise grateful for the momentous and sustained efforts that the U.S. has made over the years, to help strengthen Georgia’s democracy.

We fully support the process of strengthening the U.S.-Georgia alliance, inclusive of the presence of the U.S. military on the ground, to the benefit of shared Euro-Atlantic security.


Zviad Adzinbaia
International Security and Digital Diplomacy Fellow, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

Founder, LEADx Change
Eka Akobia
Dean, Associate Professor, The School of Governance, Caucasus University
Irakli Alasania
Former Minister of Defense

Former Ambassador to the United Nations
Irina Arabidze
National Security and Foreign Policy Analyst
Phikria Asanishvili
Associate Professor of International Relations, Tbilisi State University
Giorgi Astamadze
Doctoral Candidate in History, University of Karlsruhe
Nato Bachiashvili
Chairperson of International Centre for Geopolitical Studies
Giorgi Badridze
Senior Fellow, Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (Rondeli Foundation)

Former Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain
Zurab Batiashvili
Research Fellow, Rondeli Foundation
Zaza Bibilashvili
Chairman, The Chavchavadze Center for European Studies and Civic Education
Levan Bodzashvili
Former Deputy National Security Assistant to President
Former Deputy Foreign Minister
Eto Buziashvili
Research Associate, Atlantic Council
Former Adviser to the National Security Council
Mikheil Darchiashvili
Former Deputy Defense Minister
Member of the Governing Board, Atlantic Council of Georgia
Davit Darchiashvili
Professor, Director, Center for Russian Studies, Ilia State University
Jaba Devdariani
Founder, the United Nations Association of Georgia &
Paata Gaprindashvili
Director, Georgia’s Reforms Associates
Former Ambassador to Austria
Kakha Gogolashvili
Director of European Studies at Rondeli Foundation (GFSIS)
Giorgi Goguadze
Assistant Professor of International Affairs, Caucasus University
Tornike Gordadze
Former Minister of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Georgia
Professor, Paris Institute of Political Studies (France)
Giorgi Gvalia
Professor of Politics and International Relations, Ilia State University
Shota Gvineria
Senior Fellow, Economic Policy Research Center
Former Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Gia Japaridze
Senior Fellow, Ilia Chavchavadze Center for European Studies and Civic Education. Former Charge d’Affaires to Portugal and Cyprus
Tedo Japaridze
Former Ambassador to the United States
Former Foreign Minister
Nino Kalandadze
Director, The Chavchavadze Center for European Studies and Civic Education
Nodar Kharshiladze
Founding Director, Georgian Strategic Analysis Center
Former Deputy Minister of Defense
Tinatin Khidasheli
Chairperson, Civic Idea
Former Minister of Defense
Beka Kobakhidze
Chair, MA Program in Modern History of Georgia, Ilia State University
Batu Kutelia
Vice-chair, Atlantic Council of Georgia
Former Ambassador to the United States
Khatuna Lagazidze
Senior Fellow, Georgian Strategic Analysis Center
Former Senior Advisor to the National Security Council
Ekaterine Metreveli
President, Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (Rondeli Foundation)
Grigol Mgaloblishvili
Former Ambassador of Georgia to NATO
Khatuna Mshvidobadze
Professorial Lecturer, The George Washington University
Senior Fellow, Senior Fellow, Rondeli Foundation
Giorgi Muchaidze
Executive Director, Atlantic Council of Georgia
Sophia Petriashvili
Former Associate Professor of International Relations, Tbilisi State University
Alex Petriashvili
Former Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration
Former Ambassador to Turkmenistan and Afghanistan
Tengiz Pkhaladze
Associate Professor, Georgian Institute of Public Affairs
Former Foreign Policy Advisor to the President
Mirian Popkhadze
Fellow, Foreign Policy Research Institute
Former Representative of Ministry of Defense to the United Nations
Irakli Porchkhidze
Vice President, the Georgian Institute for Strategic Studies (GISS)
Datuna Rakviashvili
Secretary, National Security Council, 2016 – 2018
Giorgi Rukhadze
Senior Fellow, Georgian Strategic Analysis Center
Tornike Sharashenidze
Professor of International Affairs, Georgian Institute of Public Affairs
Vasil Sikharulidze
President, the Atlantic Council of Georgia; Former Ambassador to the United States
Tornike Turmanidze
Professor of International Relations, Tbilisi State University
Gela Vasadze
Regional Program Manager, Georgian Strategic Analysis Center
Temuri Yakobashvili
Ambassador of Georgia to the United States (2010-2013)

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