Memorandum on Deepening the Defense and Security Partnership Between the United States of America and Georgia

On this 25th anniversary of Georgian independence, we reaffirm the strategic partnership between the United States of America and Georgia and commit to deepening our defense and security relationship, to reinforcing our shared determination to further Georgia's integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions, and to working to strengthen Georgia's self-defense capabilities and resilience.

The United States and Georgia share a commitment to global, regional, and homeland security for both our countries. The United States honors the dedication and sacrifices of Georgian forces in Afghanistan and around the world, and deeply appreciates Georgia's outstanding contributions and commitment to global peace and Euro-Atlantic security.

The United States stands firm in its commitment to Georgia's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. The United States recognizes Georgia's important role as a strategic and reliable partner in the region and continues to support Georgia's right to make independent and sovereign choices on foreign and security policy, free from external pressure and coercion. The United States commends Georgia's adherence to the 2008 cease-fire agreement, and welcomes Georgia's efforts to ensure all its citizens can reach their full potential as members of the Euro-Atlantic community.

The United States and Georgia share a willingness to confront common dangers and threats and recognize the importance of self-defense and resilience. Our bilateral cooperation is enshrined in the United States-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership, signed January 9, 2009. The Charter outlines our mutual desire to strengthen our relationship in the fields of defense and security, economic, trade, and energy cooperation, democracy and governance, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. The United States and Georgia believe that formalizing a durable and strategic approach to defense and security cooperation increases the security of both countries and positively impacts regional stability and global security. This Memorandum on Deepening the Defense and Security Partnership therefore reaffirms and expands the United States and Georgia's enduring and effective defense and security cooperation.

AREAS OF COOPERATION

The U.S.-Georgia Defense and Security Cooperation Working Group and the U.S.-Georgia Bilateral Defense Consultations continue to serve as the primary mechanisms for advancing the defense relationship. The United States intends to reinforce existing assistance mechanisms to strengthen Georgia's self-defense capacity against potential threats. We intend to build on our shared vision of broad and deep U.S.-Georgia strategic defense and security cooperation by focusing on three areas: defense capacity building, military and security cooperation, and information sharing.

Defense Capacity Building: The United States is committed to enhanced cooperation with Georgia to strengthen the self-defense capabilities of Georgia's Armed Forces. This includes improving readiness and supporting a resilient force that is capable of providing its own defense and contributing to that of others. The United States and Georgia intend to work together to expand Georgia's defense capacity by:

Supporting the acquisition of defense articles and related services that improve the interoperability, sustainability, and deployability of Georgia's Armed Forces, as well as its self-defense capability;

Facilitating and providing training and services to Georgia's Armed Forces that support the full readiness of Georgia's Armed Forces and the long-term sustainability of its defensive capabilities;

Educating, training, and exchanging operational and technical personnel to improve military effectiveness for self-defense and special operations warfare;

Developing and strengthening capabilities to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and terrorism;

Improving Georgian cybersecurity through expert collaboration, exchange, and participation in bilateral and multilateral training and events; and

Implementing best practices in defense governance that include the essential underpinnings of rule of law, command-and-control, and merit-based advancement.

Military and Security Cooperation: U.S.-Georgia military cooperation facilitates Georgia's integration and interoperability with Euro-Atlantic institutions as well as Georgia's commitment to countering terrorism globally. The United States and Georgia intend to increase military cooperation by:

Carrying out joint and combined exercises to share expertise and overcome vulnerabilities;

Increasing Georgia's readiness for bilateral and multinational operations and missions, including with NATO, the European Union, and the United Nations;

Cooperating in multinational operations when in the common interest of the United States and Georgia;

Conducting political-military exchanges and consultations on the security of the United States and Georgia; and

Cooperating on enhanced border, maritime, and airspace security.

Information Sharing: The United States and Georgia recognize that countering new challenges and threats to security, including terrorism and WMD proliferation, benefits from a close partnership that facilitates information sharing. The United States and Georgia intend to strengthen information sharing by:

Maintaining arrangements that facilitate the exchange of information about hostile actions and specific threats to the United States' or Georgia's security and regional stability;

Cooperating on analysis concerning such threats;

Conducting joint threat assessments that include U.S. military facilities, assets, and personnel present on the territory of Georgia;

Improving technological capabilities to ensure exchanged information remains secure and safeguarded; and

Enhancing strategic communication to better counter threats affecting stability in the region.

Source: U.S. State Department.