The House Armed Services Committee passed the fiscal year 2022 (FY2022) National Defense Authorization Bill on 1 September, by a bipartisan vote, focusing on the U.S. Defense policy and budget priorities.
Of 780 markups submitted by congressmen, special attention needs to be paid to Rep. Austin Scott’s markup, which includes provisions relating to Georgia-U.S. cooperation.
According to the bill, the nation of Georgia is a valued friend of the United States and has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to advancing the mutual interests of both countries. Also remarkable are the contributions of the Georgian armed forces having fought side-by-side with American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Bill highlights that Georgia’s geographic location gives it strategic importance as a transit corridor, and the resilience of Georgia’s democratic institutions is critical to its Euro-Atlantic integration.
The bill expresses support for “an enduring strategic partnership between the United States and Georgia” and “Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally-recognized borders, and does not recognize the independence of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions currently occupied by the Russian Federation.”
According to the bill, the U.S. should “continue support for multi-domain security assistance for Georgia in the form of lethal and non-lethal measures to build resiliency, bolster deterrence against Russian aggression, and promote stability in the region, by strengthening defensive capabilities and promote readiness; improving interoperability with NATO forces; further enhance security cooperation and engagement with Georgia and other Black Sea regional partners; and continue to work with Georgia’s political leaders to strengthen Georgia’s democratic institutions.
The defense bill needs to be passed by both the House and the Senate before sending it to President for signature.