Georgia Hosts 2,800 NATO Troops for Drill

Georgia PM denies that drill is targeting Russia

On Monday, the Republic of Georgia launched the Noble Partner 2020 military exercise, a war game centered around Tbilisi which will play host to 2,800 NATO troops from US, France, Britain, and Poland.

Noble Partner is meant to simulate the defense of Georgia surrounding an invasion, and is clearly built on the August 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, however, denies that Russia or anyone else is being targeted in the drill.

Russia is clearly bristling, however, at the presence of NATO troops in operations right on their border. Even if not directly targeted, the exercises are part of Georgia’s ongoing bid for NATO membership, something Russia definitely opposes because of proximity.

NATO largely favors Georgia as a member, but will not grant them accession so long as their claims to South Ossetia and Abkhazia remain unresolved, as this would lead to an immediate risk of a war with Russia over the breakaway republics.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.