U.S. European Command Deputy Director for Partnership, Security Cooperation and Space Capability Brig. Gen. Edward Vaughan visited Georgia August 18-20. On Aug. 18, the Georgian Ministry of Defense hosted the first executive-level review of progress on the newly initiated Georgia Defense and Deterrence Enhancement Initiative (GDDEI).
In October 2021, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Georgian Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze signed a memorandum of understanding on the conduct of GDDEI. In May 2022, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy (Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia) Laura Cooper and First Deputy Minister of Defense Lela Chikovani signed the GDDEI Bilateral Concept, laying out the framework and focus areas for the bilateral initiative. The Office of the Secretary of Defense directed EUCOM to execute GDDEI in collaboration with Georgia, and the August IPR is a regularly scheduled opportunity to take stock of progress.
GDDEI is a bilateral US-Georgia security cooperation initiative designed to enable the continued modernization and development of the Georgian Ministry of Defense and Georgian Defense Forces in support of shared security interests. The purpose of GDDEI is to continue institutional reform in the defense sector, strengthen the capabilities and capacities required for effective deterrence and defense, and foster interoperability with NATO. While in Tbilisi, Vaughan also held office calls and bilateral discussions.