عنوان مقاله [English]
Georgia has faced challenges since the independence from the Soviet Union. Some of were inherited from the Soviet era and some of them like political instability, disintegration, separation and insecurity that was worn during the Soviet Union, in the era of independence emerged. Outside Georgia's borders in the South Caucasus, the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict also made the region unstable and insecure. Among the internal and external threats that Georgia has faced since 1991, it can be said that Russia as one of the most important threats to Georgia's security, so that Russia is in Georgia's new security doctrine which was adopted in 2012, has been mentioned as the main threat for Georgia. Also in the National Military Strategy document which was released in 2014 by the Georgian Ministry of Defense, Russia has been introduced as the occupying country of Georgia, and as a factor in the rise of terrorist acts in the country.
The seriousness of Russia's threat to Georgia raises this question that how much this threat is rooted in the mentality and history of the Georgians about the Russians and to what extent is this threat from objective facts? In the other words, what indicators made Russia a threat to Georgia? Ultimately the main question is what impact Russia has had on Georgia's security policy from 1991 to 2013 and Georgia has adopted what policies to respond to the Russian threats? To answer these questions a descriptive-analytical method and the defensive realism approach, Stephan Walt's balance-of-threat theory is used.
According to balance of threat theory, states' alliance behavior is determined by the threat they perceive from other states. Walt contends that states will generally balance by allying against a perceived threat, although very weak states are more likely to bandwagon with the rising threat in order to protect their own security. Walt identifies four criteria states use to evaluate the threat posed by another state: its aggregate strength (size, population, and economic capabilities), its geographic proximity, its offensive capabilities, and its offensive intentions. Walt argues that the more other states view a rising state as possessing these qualities, the more likely they are to view it as a threat and balance against it.
Balance of threat theory modified realism (as well as the neorealism of Kenneth Waltz) by separating power from threat. In balance of power theory, which had previously dominated realist analyses, states balance against others whose power (i.e., military capabilities) was rising—greater power was assumed to reflect offensive intentions. Walt argues that this is not borne out by empirical evidence, and that balance of threat theory—in which states will not balance against those who are rising in power but do not display offensive intentions—gives a better account of the evidence.
Using the indicators of Walt's balance of threat theory, it can be concluded that Russia is a serious threat to Georgia, and Georgia has adopted balancing acts to counteract this threat. Georgia's withdrawal from the Commonwealth of Independent States, the use of alternative organizations such as Guam and NATO and the promotion of relations with the EU and the United States are the indicators of this counterbalance against Russia.
The GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development is a regional organization of four post-Soviet states: Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova. Cooperation between Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova started with the GUAM consultative forum, established on 10 October 1997, in Strasbourg and named after the initial letters of each of those countries. In 1999, the organization adopted the name GUUAM due to the membership of Uzbekistan. A summit in Yalta on 6 to 7 June 2001 was accompanied by the signing of GUUAM's charter which formalized the organization. However, in 2002, Uzbekistan announced that it planned to withdraw from the organization, and following this announcement started to ignore GUUAM summits and meetings. On 24 May 2005, shortly after the Andijan massacre, Uzbekistan finally gave an official notice of withdrawal from the organization to the Moldovan presidency, thus changing the group's name back to GUAM.
Georgia and NATO relations officially began in 1994 when Georgia joined the NATO-run Partnership for Peace. Georgia has moved quickly following the Rose Revolution in 2003 to seek closer ties and eventual membership with NATO. Georgia's powerful northern neighbor, Russia, has opposed the closer ties, including those expressed at the 2008 Bucharest summit where NATO members promised that Georgia would eventually join the organization. In the 7 December 2011 statement of the North Atlantic Council Georgia was designated as an "aspirant country”.
Georgian–American relations continue to be very close and encompass multiple areas of bilateral cooperation. The United States for its part is actively assisting Georgia in strengthening its state institutions in face of increasing pressure from its northern neighbor Russia and has provided the country with financial assistance in excess of 3 billion dollars since 1991.Since 2009, Georgian–American relations are streamlined by the U.S.–Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership, which created four bilateral working groups on priority areas of democracy; defense and security; economic, trade, and energy issues; and people-to-people and cultural exchanges.
Georgia in 2004-2008 sought to become a member of NATO, but did not succeed in the face of strong Russian opposition. In February 2012, it was agreed that the U.S. and Georgia will start working on a Free Trade Agreement which, if materialized, will make Georgia the only European country to have such treaty with the United States. Georgia and the European Union have maintained relations since 1996 and in 2006 a five-year "Action Plan" of rapprochement was implemented in the context of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). A more comprehensive Association Agreement entered into force on 1 July 2016. A European Union Monitoring Mission was sent to Georgia in the wake of the 2008 South Ossetia war. Georgia does not have any official status as a candidate for future enlargement of the European Union, but in 2011 Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili expressed a desire for his country to become a member state of the EU. This view has been explicitly expressed on several occasions as links to the United States, EU and NATO have been strengthened in an attempt to move away from the Russian sphere of influence.