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“If NATO needed a vice-head of Afghan mission, he would be Georgian”

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, June 16
Philip Bridlav, a retired four-star General of the United States Air Force, has told the Voice of America that Georgia has made “more contributions to NATO than it benefited from it”.

He stressed Georgia's role in the alliance's missions has been “exemplary”.

"From the military point of view, Georgia has made more contributions to NATO than it has received benefits from it. There was a time when we were saying that if we needed a vice-head of the mission in Afghanistan, we would definitely select him from among the Georgians,” said Bridlov.

He said that Georgia's military involvement is clearly visible.

"Now it is the alliance's turn. Those members who are worried about the presence of Russian troops on Georgian soil should make a political decision. I do not have any answers, but I know that from the military point of view, Georgia has done everything we were demanding from it," the General said.

Meanwhile, Georgian Minister of Defence Levan Izoria, who is now paying an official visit to Germany, stressed that Georgia is firm in its position to contribute to international peace and security though active participation in foreign missions in the future.

Before making his statements, Izoria attended a training session of Georgian soldiers in Magdeburg before they depart for Afghanistan, and received high assessments from German generals over the combat readiness of the Georgian servicemen.

One hundred Georgian soldiers have undergone military training in Germany since January this year, in order for them to be completely ready for participation in the NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.

Georgia is the largest non-NATO contributor to the Resolute Support mission, with 885 troops.

The Resolute Support mission was a follow-on task from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission, to which Georgia contributed roughly 750 troops.