NATO’s top military commander, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, said on September 15 that Georgia has done “an extremely good job” of becoming interoperable with NATO.
Responding a question of NATO enlargement, Gen. Breedlove, who is NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe and commander of U.S. forces in Europe, said some of the nations aspiring to join the Alliance, among them Georgia, have improved their “programs of engagement.”
Commenting on military component of NATO integration of aspirant nations, Gen. Breedlove said that some of the countries, “like Georgia, have done an extremely good job of becoming interoperable with NATO and deploying with NATO.”
“Georgia has deployed at a very constant and high level its forces in support in Afghanistan and in other places,” he said.
“So what I see is nations continue to move towards their goal or have already probably in some cases met the military expectation that we have for their entry into NATO and now some of the more political issues are being worked out by the political leadership of NATO,” Gen. Breedlove said.
He made the remarks at the Washington-based Atlantic Council think tank’s event, discussing NATO Wales summit results, during which he spoke about a new rapid response force of the Alliance and laid out plan how to improve NATO Response Force.
“I don’t want to sound too positive, but what we thought was going to be the ceiling of what we could get at Wales, became the floor of what we can expect in the future,” he said.
He said that one of the main issues on the agenda of the NATO summit in Wales was “how we address revanchist Russia.”
Asked about reassurances to those countries, which are not yet NATO members, Gen. Breedlove said that this is an issue, which the West has to consider.
“There are nations, which are outside NATO – which are between us [NATO and Russia]. How does the Western world approach those nations and what are the expectations of all the neighbors east and west as to what their action should be in those nations, what are accepted international norms – I think this is first principle conversation, then you can begin to look at… what are those assurances that we can give these nations,” he said. “Right now there is no NATO policy what to do in those nations that find themselves outside the Alliance.”