Security sector reform in Georgia – an assessment of Norwegian military assistance to NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Center (JTEC)

FFI-Report 2020

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20/01504

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978-82-464-3309-7

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Iver Johansen Torgeir Mørkved

In September 2014, NATO adopted a comprehensive package of measures to support security sector reform in Georgia. The package was a response partly to Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and warfare in Ukraine, and partly to the long-standing Georgian request for membership in the alliance. One of the measures in the package was the establishment of a military training center – Joint Training and Evaluation Center (JTEC). The purpose of the center was to develop training and exercises in accordance with NATO standards and to strengthen interoperability between Georgian military units and NATO. The establishment of the center was to take place with functional and financial support from NATO.

Norway decided to contribute to the establishment of the center through the newly launched Nordic-Baltic Assistance Program (NBAP). As of spring 2015, a Nordic team under Norwegian leadership was in place in Tbilisi to support the establishment of the center.

Georgia became independent in 1991, but has ever since been territorially divided, with two regions – Abkhazia and South Ossetia – operating as independent proto-states under Russian suzerainty. In August 2008, a five-day war broke out in which Russia intervened militarily in both regions and thereby cemented the country's territorial divide. The Russian intervention also revealed a deep divide within NATO between countries that wanted an extension of the alliance to Transcaucasia – primarily the United States – and other countries who were opposed chiefly for the sake of maintaining working relations with Russia – primarily France and Germany. The support package adopted in 2014 balanced the consideration of unity within the alliance with the desire to provide substantial support to Georgia. The establishment of JTEC thus took place in a very complex political landscape, which placed great demands on the management and implementation of the Nordic contribution.

In the autumn of 2020, the first five years of regular operations at JTEC will be rounded off, and the center will move on to a new phase with new objectives. Therefore, now is a good point in time to make an assessment of the Norwegian contribution in establishing the center with a view to deriving experiences and lessons learned. The report summarizes these in five points:

  • The Georgia mission is unique and requires situational awareness and adaptation to local conditions.
  • Personnel responsible for implementation must spend time with local stakeholders. The mission must have the opportunity to grow organically.
  • National command and control structure must be adapted to the individual mission.
  • The impact of the effort must be assessed at all levels from the military to the political level.
  • A targeted education for military counseling and assistance should be established.

About publication

Report number

20/01504

ISBN

978-82-464-3309-7

Format

PDF-document

Size

852.7 KB

Download publication

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