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Speech at PfPC Annual Conference

Conference George C. Marshal Center, Garmisch, Germany Education can serve many purposes, but defence education

Education can serve many purposes, but defence education system stands out with its focus on security thinking and

its capacity to deliver. Products of this system - defence and security leadership - are in charge of Armed Forces but

also security policies and they make up one of the most important components of the society‟s identity. Hence, the

quality defence education matters for the Armed Forces readiness and the entire society‟s behavior as such. In turn,

these are connected with the role of the society in the international system, and its aptitude to take part in regional

and international security. Accordingly, we may define the role of defence education as a guarantor of the quality of

Armed Forces, and a shaper of the society‟s identity and behavior of the nation.

Its general importance notwithstanding, defence education is, first of all, focused on the requirements of the AF,

which is a very complex organization and needs balanced development of all of its segments. For instance, it is

impossible to focus only on tactics or operations or strategy issues. AF needs it all and it is unity of all constituents

that guarantee the quality of the forces. Holistic approach is critical here.

In Georgia, and in all other states which gained or regained independence when Soviets collapsed, challenges exist

everywhere. During the years of independence, nations managed to deal with these challenges with different levels of

success. Lack of skills, knowledge and resources were the most visible obstacles on this road. For example,

Georgian defence sphere was terribly underdeveloped before the Rose Revolution. Because of ill-managed

statehood, the government had no intention and resources to commit to this field. Rose revolution has brought

dramatic changes, but with that, new challenges also arrived. Just to compare, funding increased from few millions to

hundreds of millions in as short as 2 years after 2003, and manning of the army has followed this trend. Today we

have few brigades instead of few battalions, which are better equipped and taken care, but it is obvious that the

quality cannot be guaranteed at all occasions, and numbers cannot guarantee quality.

We are very grateful of friends because the swiftest change in attitude we have witnessed after the Rose Revolution

was dramatic increase of slots for Georgian students in respective national universities. There is no doubt that this

helped us much in having better prepared personnel in the defence domain too, but creation of a critical mass is a

responsibility of the national education system and this is why an internal capacity building has been recognized as a


Because proper decisions require proper experience and this always take some time, we spent years in convulsive

efforts to develop our AF. Today, Georgian MoD has clear understanding of the need of balanced development and

the importance of advance planning. Education has been declared the first priority for the years to come. Most of the

resources and efforts, those of our own and of foreign assistance, are now directed on education.

As a result, we have manifest progress. The first to mention is a 4yr Cadet Bachelor School (CABS) which we

officially launched by the end of past year and were faced with the highest competition rate nation-wide. Of course, it

was not being established on an empty place. We had previous experience of a 4yr school, and we were retaining

separate courses of instruction for lieutenants across the branches of service. Now we combine these courses into a

Junior Officers Basic School (JOBS) which integrates entire military instruction of the respective level and is

considered a military instruction provider for CABS. Also, it prepares and provides special courses to retrain those

active service officers who lack military education.

Likewise, the courses of captain level instruction have now been transformed into a Captains Career School (CACS)

and it trains captains and majors of about 10 to 12 years of service. The aim of the school is to prepare company

commanders and battalion staff officers across the branches of service.

Another novelty for Georgian defence education system is the pilot CGS Course which has been launched in

January. The course prepares battalion commanders and upper level staff officers with capabilities of planning,

preparation and assessment of operations on battalion and brigade level.

Duration of the course is 6 months and it is developed jointly with the US-contractor. The program consists of 2

blocks and 7 modules. The General block includes an introductory course, leadership, defence and Security and

Military history modules. The Operations block includes modules of war fighting fundamentals, battalion operations

and brigade operations.

Starting next year, it is planned to transform the course into a school, by adding modules on NATO, management and

training, multinational environment, and nonconventional operations. The CGSS will be a part of Command and

General Staff College (CGSC) which will also include the School of Advanced Defence Studies (SADS).

Clearly, training in operational arts and strategic issues is still lacking. As in many other post-soviet states, instructors

in operations planning and strategy do not abound.

School of Advanced Defence Studies is meant to address these very problems. It should educate high level

commanders able to plan and execute “high leverage” operations in defence and security policy. The school should

provide students with strong background in strategic analysis, decision making, organization theory, operational arts

and formal analytical methods.

We intend to open the school in 2012. Four programs intended for military and civilian students include Defence

Analysis, European Security, Defence Resources Management, and Cyber security. We are now working to develop

curricula for these programs, while working very closely with NATO/DEEP on issues such as faculty development,

curricula development, and faculty and student exchange. The universities we currently work with on partnership

priorities include Polish, Czech and Romanian Defence Universities, the Baltic Defence College, US National

Defence University with i-College included in the loop, Naval Postgraduate School, CA, and Georgia Technical

University. Also, we have initiated preliminary talks with the universities of Hamburg in Germany, and Cranfield in

Shrievenham, UK.

Abovementioned schools will contribute to complete entire officer education system in Georgia and guarantee the

quality education at all levels of command. It is doubtless that once streamlined, defence education system will have

direct influence on the quality and readiness of the Armed Forces of the country.


However, there is something else we understand. Years of democratic development combined with bitter experiences

of covert and overt wars with Russia made our society believe that not just sheer force, but also partnership and

friendship is something that can well defend the nation. There are dramatic changes in the perceptions of the society

today. People are much better prepared to overcome mythologies and live rational lives. Demands to militaries have

also become more rational. Public opinion now asks for less loud words and better quality, deeper integration with

NATO and visible results and accomplishments on this way.

Another very significant change is that historical mythologies play much lesser role now in the nation‟s identity where

current priorities start to prevail. As a society, now we are strongly convinced that the domestic and regional

grievances are counterproductive; that we better orient ourselves on future, that domestic security cannot be

guaranteed without regional security, and that true strategic leadership is to maintain peace, not just to lead in battles.

In essence, maintaining peace is the key mandate to the militaries. While public opinion has been much divided in the

past about the scenarios of regaining control over our occupied territories, now almost nobody questions the need for

more diplomacy and peaceful policies in this regard. Ultimate function of militaries that the public opinion assigns to

them is defence of independence.

Of course, in Georgia and elsewhere in our strenuous societies much of these changes remain on the level of

instincts and security concerns. We may keep in mind that we are talking of the societies who have lived centuries
















independence, general nationalist agendas of the large parts of these societies made them supportive to these ideas,

but they also risked failing their statehood because they were ill-prepared to succeed.

Mentioned state affairs have many different dimensions and on big part, this is consensus of the society. But without

common knowledge and experience achievement of consensus is impossible. It is very important to know the rules

by which the reality can be interpreted, and it is very important to have shared values and interests to agree on these

rules. Social scientists, and especially the ones who master identities, would agree that interests are largely shaped

by the security considerations, and the dividing lines are drawn between those who differ in their angles of perception

of security.

Commonly accessible defence education is very important on this way of approximation between our societies. We

need to develop our defence systems in a way that they are not alarming to those we want to make friends with. We

need to be open for partners and push the idea of regional security and partnership as much as we can.

Hence, we want to make defence education an important tool for regional diplomacy. To make this happen, we

decided to open our education system wherever technically possible. Of course, we fully realize that quality will be a

decisive issue for partners to decide and send students in our schools. But we are open not just for students but also

for instructors and professors. Of course, it is assured that problems will exist on this way but we believe in success

because we trust in efforts and goodwill.

Just to be better understood on where this partnership is possible, let me provide few examples. One is our CACS of

which the infantry course is now trying to get PfP accreditation and become a regional center. You may know that we

already have an accredited Mountain Training Center with already good record of regional cooperation. So we want

to follow suit and repeat the same wherever we can. Most importantly, we‟ll do the same in our SADS. It will be open

for professors and students from elsewhere in the region, and of course we ask for very intensive assistance to our

partners in the West to support us guarantee the quality of instruction in this school. Regional Doctoral School will be

our similar undertaking which we plan to launch from 2013, and our Language Training School is just another

example to name.

I will not elaborate further on these plans now. Let me say that the decisions I„ve just described are very firm and we

very much hope to find support in the region and in the eyes of our partners in Europe and USA. Let me finish on this

positive and optimistic note. I very much hope that our joint endeavors will help us foster the spirit of peace and

partnership in our region and elsewhere in our globalized world.

Andro Barnovi


National Defence Academy of Georgia

23 June 2011