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NY Times Reports on Pentagon Assessment of Georgian Army
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 18 Dec.'08 / 14:58

The Georgian military forces suffer from widespread mismanagement and unqualified leadership, the New York Times reported citing a classified Pentagon assessment conducted after the August war.

The New York Times said it has seen portions of the report prepared by a group of U.S. military officers who have assessed the state of the Georgian army in November and October. 

Georgia’s armed forces, according to the report as quoted by the NY Times, lack “the doctrine, institutional training and the experience needed to effectively command and control organizations throughout the chain of command.”

It also says that the process for choosing defense officials “is based on personal relationships and not tied to education, training or any system of performance evaluation.”

The NY Times also reported quoting an unnamed U.S. military officer who has worked alongside the Georgian military and was familiar with the assessment that the American team also found that Georgia had a poor grasp of military intelligence, and did not collect or share its intelligence in an organized fashion.

“One of the reasons they got into the war is that their command and control is a mess,” the officer was quoted. “They have no ability to process and analyze strategic information and provide it to decision makers in a systematic way.”

Georgian leadership has reshuffled army’s top brass following the August war, also including replacement of Defense Minister and chief of staff of the armed forces. The NY Times said that this reshuffle came after the Pentagon’s report was shared with President Saakashvili.

Eric Edelman, the U.S. under secretary of defense for policy, said in early September that the Pentagon planned to carry out assessment of the Georgia’s armed forces in order to “identify Georgia’s legitimate needs.”

"After assessments of these needs, we will review how the United States will be able to support the reconstruction of Georgia’s economy, infrastructure, and armed forces,” he told a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in September. “These steps will be sequenced and will continue to show U.S. support for Georgia’s security, independence, and territorial integrity.”

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