"Georgia is the Key to the Black Sea"-U.S. Naval Institute
24 May, 2020
"Georgia is the Key to the Black Sea"-U.S. Naval Institute
U.S Naval Institute publishes an article on its official web-site writing that while the many U.S. defense officials and analysts focus almost entirely on threats posed by China, we have to remind ourselves not to dismiss Russia in this.
The article focuses on the Russian aggressive hybrid warfare towards Ukraine and Georgia. What is more important the author mentions the August war in 2008 between Georgia and Russia.

"Russia focuses on growing its military, expanding its borders, and increasing its
military capabilities in preparation for conflict. It has been aggressive, even invading U.S. partners such as Georgia and Ukraine. "

Besides the author stresses out that Russia continues to disrupt U.S. freedom of the seas and the skies and threatens trade routes.

"The Director of the Georgian Coast Guard explains that Russia often restricts large areas of the Black Sea for exercises, reducing access for cargo vessels and other navies across wide areas. Russia has moved considerable numbers of ground troops into the region, making its Southern Military District one of the largest and most capable."

After talking about the war between Georgian and Russia in 2008, and the annexation of Crimea in 2014, and later Moldova, the author concludes that the United States must take strong action with a clear message of deterrence to prevent conflict elsewhere.

"The U.S. strategy toward Russia must be proactive versus reactive, and it must begin on the Black Sea. "

It is very important to mention that the article also talks about how an ideal candidate is Georgia to be a member of NATO.

"Georgia, in particular, is ideal for partner building. The small country is strategically located between Russia and the Middle East, and while still young in its independence and growing as a democracy, it ardently supports the United States. "

The author also talks about how the U.S should look for opportunities to foster cooperation and communication among countries that might not otherwise operate together but have similar interests.

"For example, Georgia might benefit from increased partnership with Greece and Israel. U.S. presence would foster initial trust and develop the framework necessary for these countries to develop a security network based. The Department of Defense could establish a working group with military leaders from Georgia, Greece, and Israel that begins cooperation by discussing overlapping security interests and challenges, and table-top exercises. This could eventually expand into out-of-area deployments and joint exercises, which increase readiness, and a mature intelligence-sharing network. "

The article concludes by saying that Georgian security is an excellent investment for the United States, but for countries that are forced to choose between Russia and the West, the U.S. needs to show stronger commitment. 

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