The main aim in foreign policy for Georgia is accession to NATO membership. The American authorities state that they support this policy and will continue to cooperate with the Georgian government. This cooperation should result in Georgia’s accession to NATO membership.
However, can Georgia be an efficient NATO member? The most important task for any state is to provide its own security. Why should NATO members secure Georgia, if this can undermine their own security? Georgia in NATO may come at a price for members of the alliance. Georgia is a small, vulnerable and strategically inconsequential country. Its economy takes only 116th place in the world in terms of overall GDP. Slow economy growth, stagnating living standards, a high poverty rate are seen in the country.
In addition Georgia is far away from the NATO members. The distance between Tbilisi and Washington is approximately 6,000 miles. That is why it creates challenges in cooperation, projecting force, etc. The NATO commitments towards Georgia cannot be compared to Georgia’s strategic significance.
There are also problems concerning the army of Georgia. According to the annual Global Firepower rating Georgia takes the 82nd place among 133 countries in the world. The defence budget is only $380 mln which is incomparable to the NATO budget. The foreign debt is $13 bln.
Counting all these facts it is unlikely that Georgia will contribute to the NATO global security. Georgia is likely to become a dependent. Georgia’s membership in NATO will worsen tensions with Russia. There is a possibility that being a NATO member Georgia can spark war with Russia for Abkhazia and the South Ossetia. In this case the US will be forced to choose between fighting against the nuclear power for this small faraway country or breaking its collective security agreement. The second variant is more likely.
The US should not accept such commitments jeopardizing its own security. Georgia’s membership in NATO creates many problems and high expenditures and does not give any advantages.