U.S. Team to Assess Georgian Army Needs

The U.S. Department of Defense will send an assessment team to Georgia this week to help identify “Georgia’s legitimate needs and our response,” Eric Edelman, the under secretary of defense for policy, said on September 9.

“Georgia, like any sovereign country, should have the ability to defend itself and to deter renewed aggression,” he told a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

"After assessments of these needs, we will review how the United States will be able to support the reconstruction of Georgia’s economy, infrastructure, and armed forces,” he said. “These steps will be sequenced and will continue to show U.S. support for Georgia’s security, independence, and territorial integrity.”

He also said that although Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin “has tried to lay blame on the U.S. for ‘arming the Georgians to the teeth,’ the Georgian armed forces were never trained or equipped by the U.S. to fight the Russians."

[Source: Civil Georgia, Tbilisi, 09Sep08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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