Georgia is rapidly shifting its defence stance from an expeditionary orientation towards homeland defence, although it will continue to support the former, say Georgian officials. Protection against Russian military aggression is the reason.
"In the past we trained our soldiers for external deployment, but the new emphasis is now on self-defence," Georgian Defence Minister Levan Izoria told reporters in Tbilisi on 25 March during a NATO press tour of the country. "We will not provoke, but we will defend as required."
A senior Georgian military officer put it more bluntly.
Referring to the 7-12 August 2008 war that saw Russia seize Georgia's provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the officer said on 24 March, "We are preparing for a very different war.
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