A former Commander of the United States Army Europe would like the United States to open a military base in Georgia. Speaking to the Georgia First Channel, Ben Hodges said it should be important for the US and NATO to get the initiative in the Black Sea region and stop always reacting to what Kremlin does.
“I would also like to see Georgia inviting the United States and maybe the UK and a couple of other countries to put an infrastructure in Georgia. Not big, but it’s something that would support air operations, maintenance, refueling, and for ground forces, maybe storage of ammunition, supplies, things that could be used in a crisis or for exercises. If Georgia ever builds the port of Anaklia, that would be a great port for the US Navy to come in and visit frequently’, Hodges said.
“I mean not prominent troops, but a rotational presence that will encourage the United States, UK, and others to come into Georgia more frequently”, he said.
“I would like to see the United States use a base in Georgia as a staging base for over-the-horizon forces that might have to react to the problems in Syria or Iraq, for example. I believe if we get the initiative in the Black Sea region and stop always reacting to the Kremlin, but make them react to us around their whole periphery. That is not provocative; Russians do not need a provocation. They invaded Georgia and Ukraine after we have pulled out all of our tanks, everything out of Germany”, the former Commander continued.
According to Ben Hodges, the administration of the new US President must continue to put pressure on Russia and do it together with Germany and France. “Germany is America’s most important ally; it’s the only country which I believe can influence Kremlin’s behavior. So the United States should work closely with the German government to keep the pressure on the Kremlin. We should also encourage the French to fulfill their obligations as part of the Minsk and the Normandy formats”, Hodges said.
“When it comes to the United States, for the last four years, it was not always clear where President Trump was vis-à-vis Russia. Even though he increased the US presence in Germany and Europe, he has never really and truly condemned the Kremlin. I hope the Biden administration will work closely with the German and French governments to put pressure on the Kremlin to respect international law, to respect sovereign borders, and will put diplomatic pressure, economic pressure, as well as hold Kremlin accountable for violating the international law. If Germany, United States, and France work together closely, we will have the effect”, the former Commander of the United States Army Europe concluded.