The United States Senate today passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. Sponsor of the bill is Adam Smith, representative for Washington's 9th congressional district. Democrat. Bill supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally-recognized borders. According to the bill, USA should continue support for multi-domain security assistance for Georgia in the form of lethal and non-lethal measures to build resiliency, bolster deterrence against Russian aggression.
The U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate passed their versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021, on July 21 and 23, respectively, that include provisions to support Georgia. USD 740 billion defense bill expresses support for “an enduring strategic partnership between the United States and Georgia” and “Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally-recognized borders, and does not recognize the independence of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions currently occupied by the Russian Federation,” local media civil.ge reported.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) released the following statements praising Senate passage of the legislation:
“For 60 years, Congress has fulfilled a sacred responsibility to all Americans – especially to our troops and their families – through the National Defense Authorization Act,” Senator Inhofe said. “Right now, the main challenge to our security comes from authoritarian regimes that stand against our values — namely, China and Russia — and this bill stands up for our people and our democratic values.
In section 1244 of the bill is written:
- Georgia is a valued friend of the United States and has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to advancing the mutual interests of both countries, including the deployment of Georgian forces as part of the former International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the current Resolute Support Mission led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Afghanistan and the Multi-National Force in Iraq.
- The European Deterrence Initiative builds the partnership capacity of Georgia so it can work more closely with the United States and NATO, as well as provide for its own defense.
- In addition to the European Deterrence Initiative, Georgia’s participation in the NATO initiative Partnership for Peace is paramount to interoperability with the United States and NATO, and establishing a more peaceful environment in the region.
- Despite the losses suffered, as a NATO partner, Georgia is committed to the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan with the fifth-largest contingent on the ground.
It is the sense of Congress that the United States should:
- reaffirm support for an enduring strategic partnership between the United States and Georgia;
- support Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally-recognized borders, and does not recognize the independence of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions currently occupied by the Russian Federation;
- continue support for multi-domain security assistance for Georgia in the form of lethal and non-lethal measures to build resiliency, bolster deterrence against Russian aggression, and promote stability in the region, by— strengthening defensive capabilities and promote readiness; and improving interoperability with NATO forces; and further enhance security cooperation and engagement with Georgia and other Black Sea regional partners.
The congressional negotiators are expected to spend several weeks to come up with a joint defense bill, which then needs to be passed by both, the House and the Senate, before sending it to President Trump for veto or signature. The White House, however, on Tuesday formally threatened to veto the bill, among others, for its provisions that envisage renaming U.S. military bases honoring Confederate military figures, Civil.ge wrote.
The Senate-passed National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 provides for a total of $740.5 billion for national defense programs, including $636.4 billion for the Department of Defense, $25.9 billion for national security programs within the Department of Energy, and $69 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations.
It should be noted that, recently U.S. Department of State released a statement on the 80th Anniversary of the Welles Declaration, where is written that it will never accept Russia's attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and Georgia. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia replied this statement on Twitter, saying that he is grateful for unequivocal U.S. support towards Georgia. Read more here